European Jewish Congress
Latvian synagogue restoration nears completion
Latvia
Latvian synagogue restoration nears completion

Restoration of the historic Great Synagogue in Ludza, Latvia - dating from around 1800 and the oldest surviving synagogue in the country - is nearing completion, with work slated to be finished in early 2016 and a formal rededication planned for the second half of August.

The building, the only synagogue in Latvia to preserve an inner cupola, has been recently heat insulated and new exterior planking has been put in place. New window casements have been installed, and every day all three stoves are lit to heat the building.

Work continues on the grounds, too, where a new fence has been installed, and a new cobblestone pavement laid.

The Great Synagogue was constructed in 1800-1801, and has been remodeled several times. Initially it was a wooden building, but probably in early 20th century it was covered with bricks. Its inner cupola also was probably added around that time.

The former women’s gallery will house a permanent exhibition on the history of the Ludza Jewish community, dating back to 18th century, and the Holocaust.

The building was nationalized in 1940 by the Soviets and its restitution to the Jewish community was completed only recently. The community then decided to pass the property to the local municipality.

Click here to read the full article in Jewish Heritage Europe

Monday, January 04, 2016
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Latvian president admits local complicity in Nazi atrocities
Members of the Latvian parliament, rabbis and community leaders, heads of Jewish organisations and diplomats attended a ceremony on Thursday marking 75 years since the mass murder of Latvian Jewry which took place in the Rumbula forest near the Latvian capital of Riga, during which 25,000 Jewish residents of the town were murdered.
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