The word derives from the Aramaic word for "assembly" (in Hebrew, the word for synagogue is beit knesset). Modern Karaite kenesas are similar to Rabbinical synagogues. In Eastern Europe they are laid out along north-south axis (Jerusalem direction).
The temple complex of Karaites (karaev) located in Yevpatoria, Ukraine. It covers an area of 0.25 hectares and consists of large and small kenesa buildings (meetinghouses), building religious schools (Midrash), charity dining, household courtyards and multiple courtyards (grape, marble, waiting for the prayer Ritual, Memorial). The kenesa has been a centre of the religious life of the Karaites of Yevpatoria since 1837. Yevpatoria is an ancient city was built by Greek colonists around 500 BC.
It's a small coastal city where Tatars, Karaites, Othodox Jews, Turks, Greeks, Armenians lived in peace for many centuries. The city's religious buildings include three Karaite kenesas, two Jewish synagogues, a dozen mosques, a Mevlevi Dervish monastery, an Armenian Apostolic Church, an Armenian Catholic church and a Greek Orthodox Church - all in close proximity. Because of its unique ethnic and religious diversity this area is known as "Little Jerusalem".
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