“Umm el-Kanatir” (in Arabic: “Mother of arches”), is a site on the western slopes of the Golan Heights. In the Byzantine period (4th-8th Centuries) Umm el-Kanatir was a prosperous village from the flax industry. At its southern end of the site a spring was channeled into three arched structure, and in the surfaces facing them the flax was washed and processed. In the middle of the village stood an impressive synagogue. It was all built with local black basalt stone and was highly decorated. The village existed up to 749 CE when it was destroyed by a devastating earthquake and abandoned.
Excavations at Umm el Kanatir
Large scale excavations at the site are at the site by Prof. Haim Ben-David since 2003. In 2007 he launced an 11 years innovative reconstruction project of the main synagogue. The whole structure was meticously restored to its rooftop, includin the stone built Torah ark. In 2014 the site was also renamed as “Ein Keshatot” (in Hebrew: “The spring of the Arches”)
Touring Umm el-Kanatir
Umm el Kanatir is located in the center of the Golan Heights, near the village of Natur. It is about an hour away from Tiberias, and a short 10 minutes walk from the closest parking lot. Being about 3 hours drive away from Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv, it is recommended to devote atleast two days for touring this region, with an overnight in Tiberias or the Golan Heights.
Book a Private Tour to Umm el-Kanatir
Bar-Mitzvah in Umm el-Kanatir
Umm el-Kanatir can also be a unique location for a Bar/Bat-Mitzvah ceremony. Conducting the reading of the Torah inside such an ancient synagogue will be a very special spiritual moment. The site is also open year round and welcomes Jewish families of all denominations to celebrate here their event.
It is recommended to combine it with a visit to a Shofar workshop nearby (“Kol Shofar“) where the child can make his own Shofar from a Ram’s horn.
Points of Interest in the Area