Our friends and colleagues at the Center for Jewish Art at Hebrew University in Jerusalem have had an eventful past year, which (among other things) has included the launch of the Historic Synagogues of Europe web site, the publication of new books and articles, the documentation of Jewish sites in Romania and Hungary, and the addition of valuable new resources to its online data base.
These new resources include several new photographic collections, among them:
Dutch and Israeli documentary film producer, director and publisher Willy Lindwer is known for his meticulous photographs that illustrate books on synagogue architecture in the Netherlands. These photographs are not only an accurate photographic record of architectural monuments — exterior and interior — but show the buildings in situ in Dutch towns and cities. More than 300 of his photos have now been digitized and made publicly accessible via the CJA’s Bezalel Narkiss Index of Jewish Art. The black and white images come with notation of the address, date of construction when known, and other information.
In addition, Richard Schofield, the founder and creative director of the International Centre for Litvak Photography in Kaunas, Lithuania, undertook a survey of the present situation of the synagogues in Lithuania. The preliminary result of the survey includes 59 up-to-date photographs of Lithuanian synagogues, and these are currently being uploaded to the Index of Jewish Art.
The expedition documented synagogues, Jewish cemeteries and cemetery chapels in Covasna and Braşov counties of Transylvania, and in Prahova county in Wallachia, as well as surveyed the synagogues in Bucharest. The detailed information has been uploaded to the Index of Jewish Art.
A similar documentation expedition took place in Hungary in May 2018, and the material gathered in currently being processed.
The CJA Activities report includes other publications, events, and Jewish art and heritage-related developments (and database uploads).
We already posted about the launch of the Historic Synagogues web site (which was commissioned by the new Foundation for Jewish Heritage), as well as the publication of Synagogues in Ukraine: Volhynia, an encyclopedic, 2-volume catalogue by Sergey R. Kravtsov and Vladimir Levin that is a detailed study of the history and architecture of the synagogues in this part of northwestern Ukraine, illustrated with around 1,000 images including maps, drawings, charts, and photographs.