The Great Synagogue in Jerusalem is offering tourists reserved seats for the High Holydays for up to $700, while Israelis will be able to purchase the same seats for about $170 dollars, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Tuesday.
According to the Orthodox advertisment agency, Gal-Oren, the prices for reserved synagogue seats this year have increased by 20%, apparently due to increased demand, and are going for an average of $73 a seat.
At synagogues of the hassidic rabbis' courts the prices vary according to how close they are to the admor (acronym for "our master, our teacher, and our rabbi). A reserved seat near the admor at the Belz (hassidic sect) synagogue can reach a whopping $50,000.
Opening of the Holy Arc ceremony
Prices at the Vishnitz synagogue are significantly lower, and a seat near the admor is being sold for an average of $1,000.
A seat next to the rabbi at a neighborhood synagogue can be reserved for a few hundred shekels, while worshippers who are not members of a synagogue will have to fork out some NIS 400 (about $97) for a reserved seat.
Synagogues are also charging for the right to read from the Torah, especially following the afternoon prayer session on Yom Kippur. Worshippers at the Vishnitz synagogue can purchase this right for no less than $50,000. A similar price will be charged from those wishing to take part in the opening of the ark ceremony at Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's Kol Nidre service.
Kfar Chabad is charging NIS 60,000 ($14,500) for being the last person to be called up to the Torah and NIS 30,000 ($7,250) for being called up to the Torah for the opening prayer of the Kol Nidre service.