Prof. Ira Spar to speak about a 3rd-century synagogue at Dura-Europus


April 28, 2024    
10:00 am - 12:00 pm


Temple Israel & JCC

Prof. Ira Spar to Speak on the Discovery of a 3rd Century C.E. Synagogue in Syria Containing the Earliest Known Paintings of Biblical Scenes, including that of Queen Esther and King Ahasuerus.

After 9:00 a.m. services at Temple Israel of Ridgewood on Sunday, April 28th, Professor Ira Spar will describe the history and new interpretations of the 20th century discovery of a synagogue at Dura-Europus in Syria. He will show slides of the synagogue’s walls covered with vividly colored paintings of Moses, Aaron, Elijah, Ezekial, the Temple, Esther, Mordechai, Ahasuerus, and the battle against the Philistines as well as the strange burial of Jewish bones beneath the synagogue’s doors. 

This presentation is part of Temple Israel & JCC’s ongoing Temple Talks series. Participation is free and everyone is welcome. This lecture is part 2 of a 2 part series on these recently discovered paintings.

Dr. Ira Spar is professor of ancient history at Ramapo College of New Jersey and former research Assyriologist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He is also a long-time member of Temple Israel. Professor Spar received his Ph.D. in ancient history and archeology from the University of Minnesota. He is the author of multiple books and articles on the ancient world.