The long-derelict synagogue in Berettyóújfalu, in eastern Hungary on the border with Romania, has been officially rededicated following a fullscale, 400 million forint (€1.2 million) restoration carried out with funding from the the Hungarian government and the EU. It will serve as a cultural center but also can be used for worship.
State and local political figures and representatives of national Jewish organizations, as well as two rabbis, took part in the inaugural ceremony Wednesday (June 9).
Watch a clip of the ceremony:
As we wrote one year ago, in June 2020, the synagogue, whose restoration included construction of a separate modern visitors’ center, will be mainly used for cultural events, as there is no Jewish community in the town. But it will also welcome visiting Jewish groups for prayer — and at the dedication, the rabbis carried a Torah around the sanctuary, in a procession under a tallis held above them.
It includes an exhibition about local Jewish history.
Watch a video that shows the stages of restoration:
One of the first cultural programs this summer will be a concert next Tuesday by the Budapest Festival Orchestra, which for several years has had a regular scheduled of performing in former synagogues around the country.
As we wrote in 2019, the restoration of the synagogue, which was built in 1903 and after the Holocaust served for decades as a metal warehouse, included the renovation of the facade and roof, the replacement of windows, and the restoration of the interior, including the decorative wall and ceiling paintings and metalwork.