Saturday, October 23, 2010

Slovakia -- Maros Borsky to speak in NYC about Slovak Jewish Heitage Route

Former synagogue in Malacky, Slovakia. Photo (c) Ruth Ellen Gruber

By Ruth Ellen Gruber

My good friend Maros Borsky, the leading expert on Jewish heritage in Slovakia, will be speaking in New York on Nov. 1 at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research about the Slovak Jewish Heritage Route that he began establishing in 2007.You can find details and make reservations for the talk by clicking HERE.

By now the Route links two dozen sites of Jewish heritage around the country -- from the capital, Bratislava, to Kosice and Bardejov in the far eastern tip of the country. Maros is one of the most serious and engaging people active in this field, and his presentation is sure to be exceptionally interesting.

From the web site:

The Slovak Jewish Heritage Route is a complex project that includes research, educational and promotional activities. It is aimed at advocating preservation of Jewish heritage in Slovakia as well as sustaining this attitude. These activities are to a great extend based on the results of the Synagoga Slovaca documentation project of synagogues, conducted in 2001-2006. The outcome of the survey (architectural plans, photographs, descriptions) is used to create an audience for Jewish culture in Slovakia, shape cultural policies and contribute towards improved site management.

We carry out the following activities to develop the Slovak Jewish Heritage Route:
  • Survey of the yet undocumented built Jewish heritage. In addition to the completed documentation of synagogue architecture, the survey gathers data and photographic documentation on ritual baths, educational and other communal buildings, selected cemeteries and Holocaust memorial sites.
  • The survey data will be included into the web database maintained as free public service at
  • A photographic exhibition on Slovak synagogues is under preparation. It will promote Slovak Jewish heritage in Slovakia and abroad.
  • Selected synagogues and other heritage sites will be soon marked with information plaques. These will create an identity for sites that are of historical importance, architectural value, cultural and tourist interest.
  • Printed promotional material will be produced for important sites.
  • Educational seminars and workshops will inform on the preservation and tourism opportunities of Jewish heritage.
  • Local and international promotional activities will include lectures on Jewish history and culture, and close cooperation with media.

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