The so-called “Kaukaski” synagogue in the eastern Polish town of Krynki, long used as a cinema and more recently as a sports and culture center, is to undergo renovation.
According to an article on the web site Bialystok online, the voivodship (provincial) board awarded funding from the Regional Operational Program of the Podlasie Voivodship for the renovation of the building, which dates from around 1850 — and owes its name to skins from the Caucasus imported by merchants for local tanneries. Its interior was radically altered in the 1960s when it was turned into a cinema.
As part of the investment, the Krynki commune planned, among others, renovation of the roof truss, replacement of the roof covering, insulation, renovation of the facade and the plinth.
The article said costs for the planned work were estimated at 360,000 złoty (around €85,000), with the grant from the Regional Operational Program of the Podlasie Voivodeship will amount to to nearly 293,000 złoty (around €69,000).
Krynki lies on today’s Polish border with Belarus, but before World War II was in the center of what was then Poland. Jews settled there in the 17th century, and Krynki grew to be an overwhelmingly Jewish town, the center of a thriving leather industry that was a hotbed of Jewish political activity and the site of one of the first Jewish labor unions in Russia.
The Kaukaski synagogue, with low eaves and a sloping roof, is one of three in the town for which traces remain.
The Great Synagogue, built in 1754, is a huge pile of rubble; nothing is left but its foundations. The synagogue of the Slonim Hasidim is a two-story structure in two-tone brick, long used as a warehouse.
There is also an extensive Jewish cemetery, established in the 17th century