Monday, July 21, 2014

July Jewish Heritage Newsletter: Czech 10 Stars; Photo Galleries

Bimah and reconstructed Ark in the synagogue in Mikulov. Photo © Ruth Ellen Gruber

By Ruth Ellen Gruber

Please take a look at the July edition of the monthly newsletter of Jewish Heritage Europe -- the website on Jewish heritage issues that I coordinate as a project of the Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv) Europe.

Access it by clicking here -- and sign up for regular monthly delivery.

This issue has two main "cover stories," plus links to other news from Poland, France, Austria, Hungary and elsewhere.

One cover theme  is the launch of new Photo Galleries on JHE -- galleries that readers are encouraged to contribute to.

The other is the inauguration in June of the wonderful Czech 10 Stars project, one of the most ambitious single Jewish heritage projects in Europe, linking 10 synagogues and associated Jewish heritage sites, in 10 towns all over the Czech Republic: in Úštěk, Jičín, and Brandýs nad Labem to the north; Plzeň and Březnice to the west; Nová Cerekev and Polná in the south-central part of the country; and Boskovice, Mikulov and Krnov to the east.

Synagogue interior, Polná. Photo © Ruth Ellen Gruber

They have all been renovated (or re-renovated) with a mono-thematic exhibit installed in each to form 10 regional centers of Jewish culture and education (and tourism) -- sort of a nationwide Jewish museum..... (See previous JHE posts on the progress of the 10 Stars project HERE and HERE and HERE.)

Carried out by the Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic, the 10 Stars was financed by an approximately €11 million grant from the EU, with further funding from the Czech Culture Ministry.

I traveled hundreds of kilometers over the past few weeks to visit seven of these sites -- and have posted galleries of pictures from most of them.