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Wooden synagogue in Ziezmariai, Lithuania under restoration. Photo: Aurimas Širvys
Wooden synagogue in Ziezmariai, Lithuania under restoration. Photo: Aurimas Širvys

 

We reported a few days ago about state grants to Jewish heritage projects, specifically the restoration of synagogues, in Lithuania.

One of these was €80,000 granted as first stage funding to repair the roof and facade of the wooden synagogue of Žiežmariai (owned by the Jewish Community of Lithuania, and managed by the Kaisiadorys District Municipality Administration). Located just off the highway between Vilnius and Kauna, it is one of only a dozen or so surviving wooden synagogues in east-central Europe.

We are pleased to share some pictures by Aurimas Širvys of the restoration work that is going on -- thanks so much to the Facebook page Lietuvos Sinagogos - Synagogues in Lithuania  for giving us permission to post the photos on JHE!

The wooden synagogue in Ziezmariai, Lithuania under restoration. Photo: Aurimas Širvys
The wooden synagogue in Ziezmariai, Lithuania under restoration. Photo: Aurimas Širvys

 

We reported last year about plans to restore the synagogue, which was “adopted” by the Kaišiadorys District Municipality Administration. At that time, according to the Lithuanian Jewish Community’s web site, the Kaišiadorys City Council, along with mayor Vytenis Tomkus, met with the Lithuanian Jewish Community (LJC) chairperson Faina Kukliansky and the LJC’s heritage protection expert Martynas Užpelkis to discuss what to do with the synagogue, which was then falling into ruin.

Here's the synagogue as it appeared before the restoration work commenced:

Wooden synagogue in Žiežmariai, Lithuania Photo © Ruth Ellen Gruber
Wooden synagogue in Žiežmariai, Lithuania Photo © Ruth Ellen Gruber

 

Click to read the JHE report on plans for the renovation of the synagogue

 

 

2 comments on “Lithuania: Restoration work on Žiežmariai wooden synagogue

  1. Thanks for the updates on the restoration project. We will visit the site in mid-August as well as my grandparents town which is nearby.

    • Philip – how was your visit to the restoration project of the Žiežmariai wooden synagogue? I am planning on taking a group of students in May of 2018 through Vilna and then Kovno and would like to make a stop at the wooden synagogue. Is the synagogue accessible even while it is being rebuilt?

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