Saturday, August 9, 2008

Wooden Synagogue in Latvia endangered

I missed the posting last month on Sam Gruber's blog about the wooden synagogue in Subate, a town in western Latvia, that is in danger of collapse, but it is important to spread this information, so I am linking to the post here.

This simple little synagogue, along with a score of others elsewhere in Latvia and Lithuania (maybe elsewhere?) are the only surviving examples of the sometimes magnificent wooden synagogues that one stood in eastern Europe. See a summary of Sergey Kratsov's Survey of Synagogues in Latvia for the Center for Jewish Art here.

In it, Sergey reports that out of 280 synagogues in Latvia before World War II, only 43 still exist. The good news is that the so-called Green Synagogue in Rezekne, the best-preserved of the country's wooden synagogues, is under "thorough conservation" sponsored by Latvian authorities and the World Monuments Fund.

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