The Schmooze

Romania's Franz Josef Synagogue To Be Restored

Crossposted from Samuel Gruber’s Jewish Art & Monuments

My sister Ruth Ellen Gruber recently reported on her Jewish Heritage Travel blog that our ancestral synagogue in Radauti, Romania is under restoration. The process appears to be proceeding quickly — a rare occurrence in Romania, where the Jewish community is overwhelmed with care for so many sites and is always strapped for funds.

I have a special fondness for the Franz Josef Synagogue, named in memory of the Austrian emperor especially beloved by Bukovina Jews. Not only is it the site of my grandfather’s bar mitzvah, but it is one of the first “historic” (by which I mean pre-modern) synagogues I ever visited. I was there with my parents on a trip to Romania in 1972. I was a skinny teenager with longish hair, but taller than any remaining Jew we met in the town. I remember well how one of the men who showed us the synagogue was amazed by my hair.

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Romania's Franz Josef Synagogue To Be Restored

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