Sunday, April 10, 2011

Historic Polish Synagogue Rededicated

From the JTA

The historic synagogue in Zamosc was rededicated after a $2.4 million restoration, though the Renaissance town in southeast Poland no longer has a Jewish community.

Amid prayers and commemorative speeches, Poland's chief rabbi, Michael Schudrich, affixed a mezuzah to the door of the fortress-like building, which was built originally in the early 17th century.

The restored building will function as a cultural center, including a Jewish museum, and serve as a hub for a tourist "Chasidic Route." Located near the site of the Nazi death camp of Belzec -- now a memorial and museum -- the synagogue also will be available for religious services.

The building is one of the most important synagogues in Poland to have survived the Holocaust and communism; most were destroyed. Most of the town's 12,500 Jews were killed during the Holocaust.

During World War II the German occupiers used the vaulted interior of the elegant building as a stable and carpentry workshop, and after the war it served as the local library. The building was restituted to Jewish ownership in 2005.

Click here to read the entire article, and here to learn more about Zamosc

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