Czech Republic village synagogue restored

(JTA) – The synagogue in the southern Czech Republic village of Ckyne has been rededicated after a restoration process that took more than 22 years.

More than 100 people attended the ceremony Saturday, which included a religious service led by the cantor of the synagogue in the nearby Czech city of Liberec.


A Torah scroll found in the synagogue’s attic during the restoration was used in the service.

“It was really very exciting because obviously the Torah had not been used in about 100 years, since the community disbanded and sold the building (long before the Nazi era),” E. Randol Schoenberg, the acting executive director of the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, wrote in a blog post.

Schoenberg was one of a number of people whose ancestors came from Ckyne who attended the ceremony.

Built in 1828, the synagogue is one of the few surviving village synagogues in the Czech Republic. It was used for regular services until 1895; then private owners purchased the building in the early 1920s after the local Jews had moved away to bigger towns. It was used as a workshop and then turned into a warehouse and dwelling; later it was abandoned.

A company was established in 1990 to advocate for the synagogue’s restoration. The restoration became a collaborative effort among the Prague Jewish community, local authorities, NGOs and private building firms. It will serve as a cultural center for the village.