Although I’m looking forward to the entire trip from a traveler’s perspective, as a student I am interested in seeing the Ahrida Synagogue in Balat. The synagogue was founded in Constantinople, before the Ottoman conquest, by a group of Greek Jews.
One interesting thing about the synagogue is that is has been used by multiple rites of Judaism, as the Greek Jews were absorbed into Sephardic culture after the Sephardic Jews arrived from Spain. Religious philosophies often appear in architecture, so I will be interested in seeing if the old building matches the current beliefs.
I like seeing older synagogues, and especially foreign synagogues, because it really allows me to see how Judaism has changed through geography and time. I don’t have the same experience with churches or mosques, but I’ll be seeing many of both during this course, and I really can’t wait to be off!