After eight years of work, the Hevra Sas Orthodox Synagogue (the Great Synagogue) in Oradea, Romania was officially rededicated at a joyous ceremony Saturday night — watch the video of the event:
The synagogue, which seats 1,050 people, was designed by the architect Bách Nándor and built in eclectic style1890. It is still the hub of the local Jewish community. A smaller synagogue stands nearby, as does the communal headquarters.
The renovation work over the past eight years — inside and out — took place under the direction of architect Cristian Puşcaş. The sanctuary now glows with bright colors, including tall, bright blue-painted arches around the Ark.
Guests at the inauguration ceremony included former Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid as well as local and Jewish VIPs, local religious leaders, and people who had come to Romania to take part the next day (Sept. 10) in a march in the nearby town of Sighet in honor of the late Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize-winner Elie Wiesel.
The ceremony also saw the formal installation of the new senior community rabbi, Rafael Schaffer.
The dedication ceremony took place within the first “Days of Jewish Culture” to be held in Oradea, with most events (Sept. 8-10) taking place at another renovated synagogue — the towering Neolog Zion Synagogue, which was restored and rededicated in November 2015.