Saturday, October 18, 2008

Poland: Sukkah from Szydłowiec Discovered and Restored

Poland: Sukkah from Szydłowiec Discovered and Restored

(ISJM) Just in time for this year’s celebration of the Sukkot holiday, the Museum of the History of Polish Jews – still in the planning and construction phase – has announced in its Newsletter that a sukkah dating from around 1920 discovered last year in the town of Szydłowiec on the porch of the house at 3 Garbarska Street has been dismantled, removed and is in restoration by conservators from the Radom Regional Museum.

The Sukkah was disassembled into its 240 original wooden parts for conservation and restoration. Monika and Norbert Bekiel, who own the house to which the sukkah was attached (remodeled into a porch) donated the structure to the Museum. Until the Museum of the History of Polish Jews is constructed, the sukkah will be kept at the Radom Area Countryside Museum.

Before World War II, the house where the sukkah was found belonged to Nuta Ajzenberg, who owned a local tannery. He was one of very few rich Jews in Szydłowiec. Next to his house Ajzenberg built a small synagogue used by his family and employees.

The donor, Monika Lukomska-Bekiel is reported as saying: “I am a teacher and I consider it my duty to teach the history and culture of Polish Jews. I know that the memory of the cultural and spiritual heritage shapes our national identity. After all, the cultural heritage of Polish Jews is also our heritage, their history is also our history”.

See photos of the dismantling of the sukkah here.

Read the story of the discovery and rescue of the sukkah

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