Ilana Gonen

A jumble of fallen blocks covered the site where the synagogue at Umm el-Kanatir once stood. Though the building probably collapsed in the earthquake of 749 C.E.—only a few architectural elements were left standing—nearly all of the blocks are still at the site, making the current reconstruction project possible. The village of Umm el-Kanatir was probably abandoned in the early Islamic period, so the synagogue was never rebuilt, and its remote location in the rugged hills of the central Golan saved it from looters.