Ten renovated Czech synagogues to reopen next year
Ten historic synagogues in Bohemia and Moravia are undergoing massive renovations and are set to reopen in all their former glory next year. The Ten Stars project includes such gems of Jewish heritage as Baroque synagogues in Mikulov and Jičín and neo-Romanesque ones in Plzeň and Krnov, as well as several other minor Jewish monuments.
The synagogue, erected in the 16th century and remodelled some two hundred years later, was and will again be run by the Regional Museum of Mikulov. The museum’s Dana Massovová took me around.
“The interior has changed quite a lot. Some Hebrew inscriptions in the copulas were renovated, and the Torah ark was recreated. Also, the winter prayer room, which was removed during the communist renovation of the 1980s, was recreated, too.”
“The selection process was quite difficult. After debates within the Jewish community, we have chosen some interesting monuments and mainly synagogues because they served as centres of Jewish life in each of the communities, places of celebrations of holidays, weddings, and pretty much everything revolved around them. So that’s why each of the sites includes a synagogue, and five of them also have some sort of service buildings that are being renovated.”
The exhibition in the Mikulov synagogue will focus on education in homage to the famous rabbi Judah Loew, also known as Maharal, who served there for two decades before moving on to Prague. But Jan Kindermann says it will still be possible to use the synagogues as houses of prayer.
“Each synagogue can serve for religious purposes as well. In some synagogues, such Mikulov, Krnov, and some others, we have reconstructed their Torah arks which had been removed in the past. But any group which would like to pray there will have to bring their own Torah.
More details of the ongoing renovation of the synagogues can be found at 10hvezd.cz.