• White Stork Synagogue restored
  • 07.05.2010

Events to mark the opening of a newly-restored Synagogue under the White Stork are being held in Wroclaw, south-western Poland.


Prayers were said by the Chief Rabbi of Poland Michael Schudrich, the Ambassadors of Israel and Norway delivered special addresses and several Jews who left Wroclaw in the 1930s and 1960s shared their recollections of Jewish life in the city.


The ceremony was graced by a concert of Hebrew liturgical music performed by cantor Joseph Malovany from New York. Malovany will give two more concerts. Tomorrow he will perform with the Wrocław Symphony Orchestra under Krzysztof Penderecki and on Sunday with the Synagogue Choir.


The events also include an international academic conference ‘Religion and Beyond: Jewish Religious Life in Breslau/Wrocław’, exhibitions, and the unveiling of a plague commemorating Willy Cohn, a local historian and author of a diary describing the day-to-day life in Wrocław in the 1920s and 30s.


The White Stork Synagogue was built in 1829. It was designed by the prominent architect Carl Ferdinand Langhans jr. During the Crystal Night on 9 November 1938 the Nazis devastated the interior of the synagogue which was then in Germany before borders were re-drawn after WW II.


In 1945 they converted it into a garage and a warehouse for stolen Jewish property. After the war it fell into ruin. In 1996, it was handed over to the city’s Jewish community and after a painstaking restoration project it has been brought back to its former splendour.


The Jewish community in Wrocław numbers 327 people at present. (mk)