Ein Keshatot (Um el-Kanatir) is an archaeological site that has been recognized as a National Heritage Site, and is located in the southern Golan, near Moshav Natur. At the site, remnants of a Jewish village were discovered, along with an impressive synagogue from the Talmudic Period.
This is one of about 30 Jewish villages that existed in the Golan during the Talmudic Period, which was period of great growth in the area. The synagogue building was constructed in the 6th century CE (approximately 500 years after the destruction of the Second Temple), and was the center of local communal life. It served as a place for prayer, reading of the Torah, and various public activities. A powerful earthquake in 749 CE destroyed the building, as well as the entire village, which was never rebuilt until recent times.
The excavation and subsequent reconstruction of the synagogue took 15 years to complete, and included the use of cutting-edge technology. After the stone-by-stone reconstruction (technically known as “anastylosis”), the synagogue stands today at the height of one story. Hopefully, one day in the future, the synagogue will return to its past glory, and will be reconstructed to its previous height of two stories.
The synagogue’s excavation and reconstruction were initiated by the Golan Regional Council, along with archaeologists Professor Chaim Ben David and Ilana Gonen, and carried out by Yehoshua Dray, an expert in ancient technology restoration.
The site is managed by the Golan Economic Development Corporation. It offers an experiential visit that includes a breathtaking cliff-top view towards the Samekh Riverbed and Lake Kinneret from an impressive entrance hall, a movie that explains the restoration process of the 1500 year-old synagogue, and a walk through the remnants of the ancient village, featuring the Spring of the Arches and the unique synagogue.