Etz Hayim Synagogue dates back to the Byzantine period like all the other synagogues bearing the same name. A document which belongs to Salomon Ben Ezra, who died in 1688, and which was cited in a book entitled Bate Knesiot, reads that the Moslem Turks also prayed in the only synagogue in Izmir. The period which this document mentions probably coincides with the period of Izmir’s conquest by the Turks, and it is understood that they prayed in this synagogue because there was no mosque in the city.
Having escaped dangers of fire and earthquakes time and again, this synagogue was damaged by the fire of 1841, and Daniel de Sidi had it repaired in 1851.
Etz Hayim Synagogue was built in a central plan in which its Tevah is situated in between four columns which divide its ceiling into nine rectangular parts and in which the sitting rows encircle this alignment. Tevah of this synagogue which is a conventional Izmir synagogue with its four columns supporting the roof, inter-columnar links inscribed with lines in Hebrew from the Old Testament and its triple Ehal composition with a cabinet on either side was constructed inspired by the European synagogue architecture and was moved from the centre where it must be situated to the side of Ehal during the repair in 1851.
Despite its floor which requires repairing, the synagogue is still standing with its azara and midrash. The synagogue has been recently repaired and restored with the support of İZKA and the İzmir Jewish Community Foundation.
Etz Hayim Synagogue is near the Havra (Synagogue) Street at Kemeralti.