I am happy to post the following to announce a showing of Christian Binder's Romania Synagogue photos in New York next month. Contributors who would like to see this work continued should contact me. ISJM has put together a proposal to allow Christian and Julie to keep working on this project...modest funding is needed.
Photo-Documentary Exhibition: "Synagogues of Southern Transylvania"
Photography: Christian Binder
Curator: Julie Dawson
Congress for Jewish Culture, 25 East 21st Street, ground floor
January 6 - 9, hours 11:00 - 4: 00 pm
Opening night January 6: Doors open at 6:00 pm, introduction and Carpathian klezmer music with Jake Schulmann-Ment and Benjy Fox-Rosen at 7:00 pm
In the wake of the Holocaust and subsequent mass migration of the vast majority of Romania's Jewish population, countless synagogues fell into various stages of disrepair and decay. This photo exhibition aims to capture the transitional stage in which Romania now finds itself. With the entrance of foreign investors and NGOs, some synagogues are being restored, turned into cultural centers or finding alternative uses. Others remain abandoned, assuming a central location in the town's center and representing an evocative, stubborn reminder of the recent and troubled past.
The questions are numerous - what will become of these buildings now that they can be used again? Will their respective towns take responsibility for their upkeep? How can they be integrated into a long-term plan for urban or rural renewal? And how can the countless still decrepit synagogues, many of significant historical or architectural value, be incorporated into a systematic and far-reaching plan to commemorate and celebrate a culture which used to play a considerable role in Romania's vibrant multi-cultural existence?