Robert Lyons, Prayer Books, the Old Synagogue, Aleppo, Syria 1995The synagogue, located in the old Jewish quarter, was probably built in the Byzantine period. With the arrival of Spanish exiles to Aleppo in the 16th century, a new wing on the eastern side of the main courtyard was built. In 1855, the entire building was renovated. The synagogue was torched by a mob in the 1947 riots in the Jewish quarter, and was partially restored forty years later. The pile of prayer books is a silent testimony of the dwindled community - today only five Jews remain in Aleppo.