In a recent article for Sunday Observer, it was announced that a new campaign to restore some of the most significant historic synagogues across Europe has received backing from high profile supporters such as journalist Natasha Kaplinsky, historian Simon Schama, and artist Anish Kapoor. This work began with research, commissioned by The Foundation for Jewish Heritage, which has mapped and assessed the over 3,300 historic synagogues across 48 different European countries with the aim to work on helping to save a prioritised list of the most important synagogue buildings most at risk. In the article, Michael Mail, Chief Executive of the Foundation for Jewish Heritage and co-convenor of the Urban Jewish Heritage Conference said: “In preserving these buildings, we also preserve the stories of the communities that for hundreds of years were the heartlands of the Jewish people. These places can serve as profound portals into the worlds that were once there.”
You can read the full article here.
Click here to visit the website for the Historic Synagogues of Europe Project.
Great Synagogue of Slonim
The Great Synagogue of Slonim is a baroque structure that has overlooked the Slonim town marketplace since 1642, and it remains the best preserved synagogue in Belarus despite decades of neglect. The project to save the synagogue has attracted interest locally and internationally and the Foundation has provided funding to assist the Slonim Municipality in conducting a structural survey as a first step towards the eventual restoration of the building.
Merthyr Tydfil Synagogue
The former Merthyr Tydfil Synagogue is a 19th century Grade II listed stone structure designed in Gothic Revival style, the oldest purpose-built synagogue still standing in Wales, considered architecturally one of the most important synagogues in the UK. The building has recently been put on the market and the Foundation has proposed creating a ‘Welsh Jewish Heritage Centre’ which has been well received by the Merthyr Municipality, and the Jewish and heritage communities in Wales. A Feasibility Study is now underway.