Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Spruced-Up 1915 Vladivostok Synagogue Reopens

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev visited the synagogue of Vladivostok in Russia’s far east shortly after its reopening.

Built in 1916, the synagogue, which is located 350 miles west of Russia’s maritime border with Japan and 9o miles from Russia’s land border with North Korea, was confiscated by communist authorities in 1932 and turned into a candy factory. It was returned to the Chabad-affiliated Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia in 2005 and reopened as the port city’s only Jewish house of worship on Friday, the news site reported.

Medvedev toured the synagogue shortly after its reopening in a ceremony attended by hundreds of guests. Berel Lazar, a Russian chief rabbi and a leader of the federation, hosted Medvedev at the synagogue and led the opening ceremony, which followed two years of renovations supervised by the local rabbi, Shimon Varakin.

“When the synagogue was returned, it was in a deplorable state,” Lazar said. “Nothing about it showed is was once a house of worship.” Medvedev praised the Jewish community’s commitment to rebuilding itself, the TASS news agency reported.

The opening in Vladivostok follows several synagogue inaugurations this year by the federation in Kaluga, Kazan and Zhukovka. The Russian Jewish Congress also opened a new synagogue this year in Saratov.

Separately, last week work was completed on a state-funded restoration project at Poland’s Tykocin Synagogue, a historic building in the country’s northeast dating back to 1642. The project involved the restoration of furniture at the building, which functions mainly as a museum and which receives tens of thousands of visitors annually.

On Dec. 10, a small synagogue was reopened also in Wroclaw in western Poland. It was established in 1945 in a room inside the local Jewish community’s complex and re-opened at a ceremony that featured the re-introduction of a Torah scroll to its ark.


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.