Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Montenegro Is Set To Get Its First New Synagogue In Centuries

(JTA) — Montenegro’s foremost politicians joined their president and faith community leaders for the first laying in centuries of a cornerstone for a synagogue in the area that now comprises that Balkan nation.

President Philip Vujanovic was joined Tuesday at the synagogue’s construction site by the acting and former mayors of the capital of Podgorica, Slavoljub Steipovich and Myomir Mugosha, and the heads of the country’s state-recognized religious streams and faiths, which include Catholicism, Easter-Orthodox Christianity, Islam and Judaism, the Balkan Pro news site reported.

Also in attendance at the ceremony, which took place earlier than scheduled, was the president of the local Jewish community Yasha Alfandari.

Montenegro has 400 Jews, according to the World Jewish Congress, “with maybe a tenth of that participating in actual Jewish spiritual life,” according to Ari Edelkopf, a Chabad rabbi who earlier this year became Montenegro’s first resident rabbi in over a century.

The government of Montenegro, which became independent in 2006 after breaking away from Serbia, gave the land for the synagogue in 2013.

The opening of the Podgorica synagogue is set to be the second one this century in the Balkans, following the dedication of a new synagogue in Macedonia in 2000.


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.