Friday, March 12, 2010

Poland -- synagogue in Bedzin renovated and reopened

 Before and After pictures from the Cukierman Gate web site

By Ruth Ellen Gruber

Mazel Tov! The Cukierman prayer house, the little private synagogue found hidden in an apartment block in the Silesian town of Bedzin in southern Poland, has been renovated and reopened to the public thanks to a grant from the province. The striking wall paintings that show scenes of Jerusalem, musical instruments and other motifs, were preserved and restored during the six-month restoration project. The prayer house will be open every Saturday afternoon.
Thanks to the last year’s subsidy from the Śląskie Province Conservation Officer it was possible to renovate and partly reconstruct the surviving polychromes. Apart from renovating the paintings, the interior of the prayer house was also slightly rearranged, so that it would be adapted for meetings with young people and all participants of cultural events. [...]  The Cukerman prayer house is one of about forty prayer houses that have survived and are open to visitors in Poland, and it is the only relic in the Śląskie Province, reminding of its past and its Jewish community.
For more information see the Cukierman Gate foundation Web Site -- there are lots of photos documenting the restoration process.

I visited the hidden prayer house last summer and wrote about it on this blog, describing how it is always inspiring to meet  people who take it upon themselves to care for and promote sites of Jewish heritage in Poland (and elsewhere).

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