GRODNO, Belarus – The Jewish community of Grodno has managed to attract the attention of a perspective donor for the restoration of its historic Synagogue. Chief Rabbi of Grodno Itzak Kofmann has been trying to raise funds for this major project ever since arriving here to serve as a Chabad Lubavitch emissary.
Built at the beginning of the sixteenth century, the Great Choral Synagogue has seen a lively history. It has been damaged by fire on at least two occasions. In the nineteenth century, the famous Italian architect Santi Gucci came to Grodno to work on its restoration. Unfortunately, the building suffered from fire in the twentieth century and had to be restored yet again. Located in the middle of the Jewish ghetto during World War Two, it is a miracle that this building is still standing today.
The cost of restoring the Synagogue is estimated at 1.2 million dollars. So far, it looks as if an oral agreement may cover one-sixth of the funds required for this massive undertaking. "We understand it won't be easy to raise these funds all at once, so we will restore this building step by step," explained Boris Kvyatkovskiy, the Chairman of the local Jewish community. In the meantime, members of this Belarus Jewish community are contributing what they can from their own savings to afford superficial renovations and prevent any further deterioration.
If you would like to assist the Jewish community of Grodno and the Federation of Jewish Communities of the CIS in restoring the Great Choral Synagogue, please click here.