Jewish Heritage Europe

Ukraine: Update on Synagogue Space project in L’viv

 

 

Ruins of the Golden Rose synagogue, L'viv. Photo © Ruth Ellen Gruber
Ruins of the Golden Rose synagogue, L’viv, before conservation work. Photo © Ruth Ellen Gruber

“The Space of Synagogues: Jewish History, Common Heritage and Responsibility” project in L’viv has entered the physical realization stage.

The project aims to transform the sites of the Turei Zahav, or Golden Rose, Synagogue, and the neighboring sites of the Beth Hamidrash and Great City Synagogue destroyed in the Holocaust into a memorial space that “brings rethinking the past, what is heritage and what is commemorate place​.”

Sofia Dyak, director of the L’viv Center for Urban History, reports that currently, work is under way on the ruins of the Golden Rose and on the foundations of the Beth Hamidrash to preserve and mark both sites: conservation work began at the end of July and physical work on the site of the Beth Midrash started at the beginning of October.

As part of the work, a restaurant terrace on the site of the Beth Hamidrash overlooking the ruins of the Goldern Rose has been removed. (The terrace had belonged to the “At the Golden Rose” restaurant — a “Jewish style” restaurant where, among other things, the wait staff have guests “haggle” over what they paid and decoration includes stereotype caricatures of Jews.)

Dyak notes that “The Space of Synagogues” project “is the result of  seven  years  of  work by historians,  architects,  community leaders, city officials, experts, current residents of the neighborhood, and representatives of Lviv’s Jewish communities  and  organizations.”

Projection of how site in front of Golden Rose ruins will look
Projection of how site in front of Golden Rose ruins will look

The idea for the commemorative project emerged during an international conference on Jewish heritage and memory held in L’viv in 2008.

This resulted in an international design competition to mark three sites of Jewish history in L’viv (in addition to the synagogues space, these were the only remnant of the Old Jewish Cemetery that has not been built over, and the site of the Yanovsky concentration camp). Winning designs were chosen by an international jury in December 2010. (Jewish Heritage Europe Coordinator Ruth Ellen Gruber was a member of the jury.)

Following the competition, Dyak notes,  there were “public discussions; elaboration of the concept and documentation preparation; as well as elaboration of  the conservation  project  for  the  Golden  Rose  Synagogue  ruin and a  public  tender  to  find  companies  for construction and restoration works.”

So far, the Synagogue Space is the only one of the three sites where work has begun.

​Dyak outlined the future schedule of work on he project, which is scheduled to open to the public in 2016, if funds are secured to finalize the plans.
 

So far, she writes, through the joint efforts of the Lviv City Council and the German Organization for International Cooperation (GIZ), which is funded by the German government, €127,860  have been secured for the project, but €67,580 EUR  is still needed to complete these parts of the project.

 

2015-2016:

— Conservation, preservation, and protection of the ruined remains of the Golden Rose Synagogue and creation of a respectful place of remembrance;

— Marking of the site of the destroyed Beth Hamidrash and creation of a place for reflection and dialogue between the past and the present.

2016:

— Creation of a space for a Perpetuation Memorial “to give voice to those who used to live in L’viv and were Jewish”

— Commemoration at the vacant site of the Great City Synagogue of an open space for recalling the presence of the destroyed building.

Multi-lingual plaque for the memorial site under construction
Multi-lingual plaque for the memorial site under construction

 

Multi-lingual plaque for the memorial site under construction
Multi-lingual plaque for the memorial site under construction

 

Download a PDF booklet about the project

 

See the project web site — there is a section where you can donate to the project

 

See the Facebook page for the project

 

See our JHE post in July 2015 on the project

 

 

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