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