Fullscale restoration work is under way at the so-called Memorial to the Deportees Synagogue in Cluj-Napoca (Koloszvár), Romania, and a Jewish cultural and social center will be developed next to it.
Work began at the beginning of October, and the Moorish-style building on Horea street, with its distinctive onion domes, is currently covered by scaffolding.
According to the news site mazsol.ro, the cost of the project amounts to €1 million, and it is financed by the city’s small Jewish community — just 423 members — through the sale of land it owned.
The synagogue was designed by the engineer Izir Hegner and built in 1886-1887 for the Neolog community. It was rebuilt after it was severely damaged by the Iron Guard in 1927 and then again after damage suffered during World War II.
Mazsol.ro states that a Jewish culture center, with a Jewish museum, is to be installed in the building next door to the synagogue, which has been vacated by the music school that had rented it. The new center, to be operational in “three to four years” is to include a kosher restaurant, medical office, social department, offices and guest rooms.
The Memorial synagogue is one of several synagogue buildings in Cluj. Among them:
The former Sas Chevra synagogue, built in 1922 and located on Croitorilor street, houses the Moshe Carmilly Institute for Hebrew and Jewish History, a department of Babes-Bolyai University that was founded in the early 1990s.
The former Poalei Tzedek synagogue, entered through a courtyard at Baritiu street 16A, has housed a contemporary art and culture center called Tranzit House since 1997.