>  Top Jewish Tour Destinations in Israel   >  Horvat Kanaf – Ancient Jewish Synagogue in the Golan Heights

Horvat kanaf

Horvat Kanaf is a former Syrian village built over a Jewish village from the Byzantine period. L. Oliphant surveyed the site in the late 19th century and so did G. Schumacher. In the 1930s, Prof. Sukenik from the Hebrew University documented in Kanaf Aramaic inscription thanking “Yose son of Halfu” for sponsoring a doorway. After the Six Day War, the site was surveyed again, tracking the Inscribed lintel in several fragments. It was restored and taken to the Golan Archaeological museum.

Kanaf copper scrollIn 1978, Ur Zvi Maoz conducted excavations at the site. He found the foundations of a Byzantine-era synagogue with several ornamented architectural elements. About 1000 coins were deposited beneath the synagogue’s floor, dating its construction to the 6th century.

Maoz found two small, rolled copper amulets in a building near the synagogues. They contained blessings for the healing of “the daughter of Marin” and “Elazar, the son of Esther.” The scrolls are also on display at the Golan Archaeological Museum.

Touring Horvat Kanaf

Horvat Kanaf is located on a hill overlooking the northern part of the Sea of Galilee. An off-road from modern Kanaf or Ma’ale Gamla leads to it. Aside from the remains of the ancient synagogue and the Syrian village, the site provides stunning vistas of the Sea of Galilee and its surroundings.

A tour of Horvat Kanaf can be combined with a multi-day tour in Israel, including exploring the Golan Heights.

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