Neo-Classical Façade (1829) by Carl Ferdinand Langhans now Complete
by Samuel D. Gruber
The on-gain, off-again restoration of the White Stork Synagogue in
The three-story neoclassical building was designed by Carl Ferdinand Langhans (1781-1869), and opened in 1829. Langhans was one of the foremost 19th century architects in
The synagogue has a main prayer hall surrounded on three sides by galleries for women. There are two levels of galleries to the north and south and a single gallery on the east (ark) wall. The wood frame of the Aron ha-kodesh and the damaged tablets of the Ten Commandments are all that remain of the original religious features.
The synagogue remained in use until 1974 when the authorities expropriated it from the community and gave it to the
In addition to raising funds and coordinating restoration efforts, the Foundation sponsors weekly concerts in the synagogue during the summer. Bente Kahan told Ruth Gruber that enough funds have been raised to complete the restoration by 2010. According to Gruber” she's managed to do this by making her foundation a "neutral, non-profit organization" that, because of its neutrality, can navigate the sometimes treacherous waters between the municipality and the Jewish community.
After restoration, the synagogue will include a Jewish Museum devoted to the history of the Jews of Wroclaw According to its website, the "
For photo galleries of the synagogue and recent restoration works see: http://www.fbk.org.pl/synagogue.php?lang=en
For Ruth Ellen Gruber’s Jewish Heritage Travel blog see: