Today, most of them are in active use. The Four Sephardic Synagogues are located in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. A complex of four Sephardic Synagogues is located in the Jewish Quarter of the old city of Jerusalem; the first of these synagogues was build in the 17th century. The Sephardic community of the Old City continued to patronize the Four Synagogues until the 1948 war, when the Jewish Quarter was seized by the Jordanians, the synagogues converted into stables. They form a complex which comprises four adjoining synagogues which were built at different periods to accommodate the religious needs of the Sephardic community, each congregation practising a different rite.
The old Sephardic community dispersed after the 1948 evacuation, settling in the New City and elsewhere in the country. The Four Sephardi Synagogues is a complex of interconnected buildings that includes the Yochanan Ben Zakai Synagogue, the Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue, the Istambuli Synagogue and the Central or Middle Synagogue that developed over hundreds of years beginning in 1586. During the Jordanian occupation of the city, the synagogues were used as warehouses and a donkey stable. All four synagogues have been completely restored and refurbished, preserving much of the original stonework. The synagogues were originally separate buildings, but were connected by the building of the Emtsai synagogue.