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The pre-1948 facade of the Porat Yosef Yeshiva overlooking the Temple Mount. To the right is the Tiferes Yisrael Synagogue.

Porat Yosef Yeshiva (Hebrew: ישיבת פורת יוסף‎) is a leading Sephardic yeshiva in Jerusalem, Israel, with locations in both the Old City and the Geula neighborhood.



The cornerstone for Porat Yosef Yeshiva was laid in Jerusalem's Old City in 1914.[1] Joseph Shalom, a philanthropist from Calcutta, India, originally bought the site intending to build a hospital. When he wrote to the Ben Ish Chai of Baghdad for his opinion, the sage persuaded him to endow a yeshiva instead.[2]

Construction was delayed due to World War I; the yeshiva was finally inaugurated in 1923. The sprawling campus consisted of a large beth midrash (study hall); two smaller study halls for a kollel for married students; and 50 other rooms including dormitories, offices and a library.[1]

Destruction and rebuilding

The Arab Legion attacking the Porat Yosef Yeshiva, May 1948.

In May 1948, shortly after the start of the Israel War of Independence, the yeshiva building was attacked and destroyed by the Arab Legion. After the war's conclusion in 1949, a new home was established for the yeshiva in the Geula neighborhood, at the corner of Malchei Israel and Yosef Ben Mattityahu Streets.

Following the 1967 Six-Day War, Israeli architect Moshe Safdie designed a new campus on the yeshiva's original site in the Old City. The new building, based on the original design, blends tradition with modern styling. In both texture and colour, the stone walls echo the dominant building material of Jerusalem. The synagogue itself is a substantial structure of six stories, seating 450 worshippers. The edifice is covered by a large, semitransparent dome which permits light to enter by day, while at night it glows with interior illumination.


The yeshiva bases its curriculum on the study of Talmud, poskim (decisors of cases in Jewish law) and the commentaries on the Shulchan Aruch. Students also learn Kabbalah according to the method of the Arizal.[3]

Roshei yeshiva and alumni

The first rosh yeshiva of Porat Yosef in 1923 was Rabbi Shlomo Laniado. Upon his death in 1925, Rabbi Ezra Attiya succeeded him as rosh yeshiva, a position he held until his death in 1970. The Old City branch of the yeshiva was subsequently led by Rabbi Ben-Zion Meir Hai Uziel, who was succeeded by Rabbi Shalom Cohen, the current rosh yeshiva.

The Geula branch was headed by Rabbi Yehuda Tzadkah from 1970-1983; he was followed by Rabbi Ben Zion Abba Shaul, who led the Geula branch until his death in 1998. Today the rosh yeshiva of the Geula branch is Rabbi Moshe Tzadkah.[4]

Alumni of the yeshiva include: Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel; Rabbi Ben Zion Abba Shaul; Rabbi Yehuda Tzadkah; Rabbi Yitzchak Kaduri; Rabbi Zion Levy, Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Panama; Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel; Rabbi Baruch Ben Haim, leader of the Brooklyn Syrian Jewish community; Rabbi Saadya Lofes; and Rabbi Aryeh Deri.


  1. ^ a b Rossoff, Dovid (1999). Where Heaven Touches Earth. Guardian Press, Jerusalem, p. 458.
  2. ^ Surasky, Aharon (1996). Ve’zos La’Yehuda. Jerusalem, p. 47.
  3. ^ The Gaon and Tzaddik Rabbi Yitzchak Kaduri, zt"l.
  4. ^ Bruchi, S. Harav Eliyahu Shrem, zt"l. Yated Ne'eman, 31 October 2001.

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