The Task

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In the spirit of authenticity, the task of the project is to return the site from an extensively damaged but structurally sound building to its synagogue original state, in and out. All construction methods, handicraft carpentry, walls and stairs will be identical to the pre-exodus era, using similar local materials and artisans. The stolen Teba (Tora reading pulpit), will be duplicated according to a photo miraculously found on the Internet (by a fan of the project: a muslim berber architect).
Slat Lkahal is located in the northern end of the Medina, in the heart of the Mellah (the original jewish area) and overviews its main street (Rue Moise).

Site location

Space being already scarce at the time , the synagogue was built using the space between two existing residential walls, elevated by and seated on a five arches system stretching over the main street !

Slat Lkahal North side
At the inauguration, cir. 1850,Slat Lkahal was likely considered the largest and most modernistic synagogue in the médina, with its independent shops on the street, its inside bathroom, its two storey, its four auxiliary rooms, its large windows overlooking the main street , and its large and two floors high Main Prayer Hall inundated with daylight through its 54 sqf skylight.

It is a traditional type of construction :
stone walls and arches, whitewash and sand mixture cement, plain trees and branches as roof and walls beams and studs.
The same materials being still available and used in the countryside of Mogador, the restoration to the identical construction is feasible. The main carpentry works of the Heikhal (Tora arch), the Teba, and the benches will
Also be duplicated and/or fixed by local woodcrafters who are still very active in the city. Of the stolen items, only the very large glasses (the size and shape of a water bucket), called Kas and used for oil lighting at night, are irreplaceable since the Bohemia and Spain factories who manufactured it are no longer in business. A comparable
substitute has been found, and will be used with enhanced and safer electrical lighting.
The degradation of the synagogue, resulting from neglect, theft, squatting, and harsh weather, can be seen in the following pictures (taken in March 2011), which give an idea of the extensive cleanup work needed before the first phase of construction could be started.

Entry door stolen

Over 30 tons of debris to dispose of

The ladies gallery ramp gone

The Heikhal doors and crown taken

A part of the wall removed to make room for the stolen Teba out?

Damaged exteriors

Skylight gone, water damage crashes the roof

More water damage

>>Next: In the near future

Work in Progress