Sunday, September 20, 2009

Poland: Dzierżoniów Synagogue Reopens for Rosh Hoshanah

Dzierżoniów, Poland. Synagogue Interior before most recent cleaning. Photo: Beata Sauermann

Dzierżoniów, Poland. Synagogue exterior. Photos: Wikimedia

Poland: Dzierżoniów Synagogue Reopens for Rosh Hoshanah

(ISJM) Prayers were heard in the synagogue of Dzierżoniów, Poland the first time in a quarter century last Friday night, the first night of the Rosh Hoshanah holiday. Dzierżoniów is located in the province of Dolny Śląsk about an hour’s drive from the Silesian capital of Wrocław (former Breslau). Until 1945, the city and the province were part of Germany; the city’s name was Reichenbach in Niederschlesien.

The main entrance to the synagogue, which was first opened in 1875, had been bricked up for many years and was broken open before the holiday and the entrance restored with wooden doors to ready synagogue for the religious service. Attending were about 50 Jews in their 50s and 60s – Holocaust survivors and children of survivors - who used to attend the synagogue before the exodus of Jews from the town during Communist-led anti-Jewish purges of 1968.

The services were held under the auspices of the Beiteinu Chaj-2004 Foundation, founded in 2004 to bring life back to the synagogue and to restore its physical form. For several years the groups have been repairing the building, using it for cultural events, and linking former and present Jewish residents of the town.

To read an article Article from European Jewish Press on Rosh Hoshanah service

For more about the synagogue and the foundation click Beiteinu Chaj-2004 here

For an informative brochure about the synagogue and foundation click here.

For more on Jewish Dzierżoniów see Virtual Shtetl

Click here for video of a poetry reading in the synagogue.

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