We are pleased to publish our first “Have Your Say” article — The Great Maharsha Synagogue in Ostroh: Memory and Oblivion. Have we reached the point of no return? by Dr. Sergey R. Kravtsov, of the Center for Jewish Art at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
The nine-bay layout, which symbolized the Twelve Tribes of Israel surrounding the Sanctuary, was a seminal architectural design for synagogues that emerged in eastern and then western Europe in the 17th century. As Sergey R. Kravtsov, of the Center for Jewish Art at Hebrew University, writes, it was applied to the Ashkenazi and Portuguese synagogues in Amsterdam – both of which today are wellknown and well preserved monuments, in the 1670s. Decades earlier, however, it formed the structure of the Great Maharsha Synagogue in Ostroh (Ostrog), now in Ukraine – a once glorious building whose fate has been quite different. In this article, Kravtsov describes the history of the Ostroh synagogue – and wonders about its future.
“Have Your Say” — accessed from the JHE Home Page — is a new feature for Jewish Heritage Europe, where we will be publishing op-ed pieces, essays, project reports and other articles on Jewish heritage issues by our readers, experts and other interested people.
We hope to make it a major forum, with opinion pieces and discussions as well as first-hand descriptions of projects and on-site experiences. While we will be contacting some people for articles and reports — but please get in touch with us with ideas you wish to write about in this forum.