The opening of a photo exhibition by Rudolf Klein that presents a brief survey of synagogues converted into museums and galleries in Hungary, Austria, Bosnia‐Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia. The exhibit runs until January 16, 2020.
The opening includes talks (in English) by Klein, Polish researcher Natalia Romik, and Professor Thomas Gergely.
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The event is organized in collaboration with the Great Synagogue of Europe, the Balassi Institute, the Polish Institute and the Austrian Cultural Forum.
The Architectural Dialogue between the St. Petersburg Jewish Community and the Tsarist Metropolis
In this lecture, Dr. Vladimir Levin will consider the uneasy relationship between the architectural oeuvre of the Jewish community and the capital city of the Russian Empire. Although concentrating on St. Petersburg, the talk will address questions and problems that many Jewish communities in European and American cities had to wrangle with. Every Jewish community that settled in a large or small city had to decide how to represent itself vis-à-vis that city, how prominent and visible should their representation should be; what are the ways to express Jewishness in the general cityscape and which means should be employed toward achieving this goal. The lecture will discuss how the Jews of St. Petersburg and their non-Jewish allies looked for a style that was best suited for marking their presence in the city, and how a unique convergence of architecture and manuscript illuminations was created to that end.
About the Speaker
Dr. Vladimir Levin is the Director of the Center for Jewish Art at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Born in St. Petersburg, he holds a Ph.D. from the Hebrew University. He authored From Revolution to War: Jewish Politics in Russia, 1907-1914 (in Hebrew, 2016) and co-edited Synagogues in Lithuania: A Catalogue (2010-2012). In 2017 he co-authored with Sergey Kravtsov the book Synagogue in Ukraine: Volhynia, and currently works on the book of Jewish heritage in Siberia with Anna Berezin. He also published 120 articles and essays about social and political aspects of modern Jewish history in Eastern Europe, synagogue architecture and ritual objects, Jewish religious Orthodoxy, Jewish-Muslim relations, Jews and Jewish politics in Lithuania, Russian architecture in the Holy Land, history of East-European Jewish communities etc.
Dr. Levin headed numerous research expeditions to documents synagogues and other monuments of Jewish material culture in eastern and central Europe and lead several research projects in the field of Jewish Art, the most important of which is the creation of the Bezalel Narkiss Index of Jewish Art – the world’s largest digital depository of Jewish heritage.
A guided tour of the 17th century Jewish cemetery, which was largely destroyed in early 1960s and then in the 1980s when the Czech TV tower was built there. A large part of the cemetery was dug up, tombstones were knocked down and broken and the rest of the cemetery was filled in a turned into a park.
Though only a small part of the cemetery still exists, it covers a broad range of styles, from Baroque, Empire and Romantic to the common forms of the latter half of the 19th century. In 1999, the Jewish Museum in Prague took over the administration of the preserved part, which is a protected historical monument. Following essential structural repairs and basic restoration work, the cemetery was opened to the public in September 2001. The restoration of the tombstones continued and 164 tombstones and 4 tombs had been restored by the end of 2013.
As part of the European Heritage Days, there will be a guided tour of the exhibit Baroque Synagogues in the Czech Lands. The exhibition is complemented by panels mapping the history of Prostějov synagogues and Jewish prayer houses and the Prostějov Jewish community in general. During the guided tour, you will learn more about some of the exhibited objects. For example, part of the rosette stained glass window, which was saved from the destroyed Olomouc synagogue.
The exhibition is organized in cooperation with the Museum and Gallery in Prostějov, the Jewish Museum in Prague, the Statutory City of Prostějov, the Respect and Tolerance Association, the Comenius Museum in Přerov and the Hanácký Jeruzalém Association. The guided tour will be the curator of the exhibition Filip Gregor from the Prostějov Museum.