Karaites - Settlements

In Israel, Ramla is the administrative and spiritual center of the Karaite community and houses the office of the Karaite chief rabbi. A community can also be found in Jerusalem, where a Karaite synagogue, allegedly dating to the time of Anan ben David, is located in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. This synagogue is a subterranean structure. The reasons for the underground site cannot be substantiated, but several interpretations are available. A political reason given is that Islamic authorities made it illegal for Jews to erect synagogues at the time of construction; others suggest that the underground site is a metaphorical application of a biblical passage, "From the depths, hear us, oh Lord." In addition to Ramla and Jerusalem, Karaites are concentrated in Ashdod, Bat-Yam, Beersheva, Kiryat Gat, Ofakim, and the agricultural settlements of Moshav Masliach and Moshav Renan.

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