But just as Jerusalem has changed in 62 years, so has the Hurva, and in honor of the dedication, a new sound a light show will grace its eastern wall every night for one week, from March 17 to 23.
The new show, which condenses the history of the synagogue into 12 minutes, avoids the traps of educational videos, instead taking much artsier, more engaging approach to storytelling.
"Work on the show was a tremendous experience," said Amit Shay of Amit Productions, which put together the show. Her company has been responsible for many other high-profile events around the country in the past, including Israel's 60th birthday party, the Emek Refaim festival and Jewish Book Week. "We tried to bring to the viewer the special story of the Hurva Synagogue and the great emotions attached to it, and the beat of the heart of the Jewish nation. From this place the light goes out unto the whole world, and here you feel the heart of Jerusalem."
The show encompasses a collage of music, film, pictures, lights and sounds to transport watchers through the important history of the place.
"It's really amazing on the huge wall," said Nissim Arazi, who heads the Company for the Reconstruction and Development of the Jewish Quarter and was involved in spearheading the project. "It's a 24 meter wall. It's going to be a living show, and is going to show everything from olden times until today. I definitely call on the public to see the show."
Of course the Hurva is not the only show in town. As Arazi himself points out, the Jewish quarter is home "to festivals all the time." And just a quick jaunt away near the Jaffa Gate is the Tower of David's Night Spectacular, an elaborate sound and light performance that brings the city's history to life.
While there are no plans yet to make the Hurva show permanent, as the Tower of David show has become, Arazi mentioned that in one week the Hurva will host another special occasion, the rededication of the Napolean parochet, a set of Torah ark curtains thought lost in 1948, but recently rediscovered at a Haifa museum. The curtains are named after the diminutive emperor because they were made out of his coat, given to Eastern Europe's Luria family as a gift after they once helped Napolean. A member of the family gave the curtains to the Hurva upon reaching Jerusalem, and it stood as the covering for the ark until its destruction.