Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Grodno Synagogue to Undergo Restoration


In the Belarus city of Grodno, work has commenced on the restoration of the Great Choral Synagogue, which an historic building whose significance goes much beyond that since it, of course, is also a spiritual center for Jews of this region.

Namely, it is the building's fa├žade that will undergo these construction works. This project is not only of interest to members of the Jewish community, but has attracted quite a lot of attention from other local residents. Located in the heart of the city, this building is recognized here as both a site of historical and architectural importance. The news about the reconstruction was welcomed by all.

The Grodno Great Choral Synagogue was built in the sixteenth century and is considered to be the oldest active Synagogue in the entire CIS, inclusive of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and the former Soviet republics in Central Asia. "We are interested in restoring this Synagogue and monumentalizing the memory of Jews who resided and now reside in the city of Grodno," explained Chief Rabbi of Grodno Yitzchak Kofman.

The Jewish community of Grodno, a full member of the Association of Jewish Communities of Belarus, expresses its appreciation to the Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS for its assistance. Large gratitude also goes to the Rohr Family Foundation, whose financial support has made the Synagogue's restoration possible.

Headed by Messrs. George and Sami Rohr of New York and Miami respectively, the Rohr Family Foundation is one of the two largest benefactors of Jewish life in the FSU, having backed the construction and renovation of synagogues, JCCs and mikvaot in dozens of cities in multiple countries, in addition to providing salaries and living expenses for nearly 200 Lubavitch rabbis and their families serving locally, thus relieving emerging Jewish communities of a major financial burden.
Click here for pictures. (FJC)

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