The Tikvath Israel Synagogue, Cape Town, South Africa
Tikvat Israel in Hebrew or “Hope of Israel” in English, is a reference to the Cape of Good Hope. It was also known as The Old Synagogue and The Gardens Synagogue because it was erected in the Gardens district of Cape Town where there are a number of important public institutions including the Public Library, the National Museum, the President’s Residence and the Parliament.
The Tikvat Israel Synagogue was the first synagogue established in South Africa by the Cape Town Hebrew Congregation. The synagogue was built in the Neo-classical style in 1849 and consecrated on September 13, 1863. The western facade includes a six-column portico surmounting a gable with a Star of David in its center. The old synagogue building also houses today the Museum of the History of the Jewish People in South Africa, established in 1958 and contains as well an exhibition of Jewish ceremonial art.
Next to the Tikvat Israel Synagogue stands the rectangular building of the Great Synagogue, inaugurated in 1905. The white, Classical style building includes an impressive western tripartite twin-tower facade with a five-column porch and above it, a large tracery window.
Both synagogues today serve the Cape Town Hebrew Congregation.