The Great Maharsha Synagogue

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Crowdfunding video aimed at raising funds for the restoration of The Great Maharsha Synagogue.

The Great Synagogue is a monument of Jewish sacral architecture in the former Jewish quarter in the Ostroh, Rivne region.

The Great Maharsha Synagogue in Ostroh, which was built in early 17th-century, remains a powerful place of Jewish history and memory, heritage and religious life of the largest and most influential Jewish communities of Volhynia. At least it was so until the World War II.

The building was damaged during the Holocaust and then used as a warehouse under the Soviets.

By the beginning of the 21st century it became a vulnerable ruin, in which was difficult to recognize the former spectacular historical record, an authentic built fabric, and elaborate and meaningful design that was aimed to serve as a pattern for synagogue architecture in Europe among of other, including the Great Ashkenazi and the Portuguese synagogues in Amsterdam as well the Great Suburban Synagogue in L’viv.

The vault, overgrown with trees, began to collapse, and the walls were spray-painted by vandals. The building has become a garbage depot. Stagnation lasted until 2016.

With the help of local enthusiasts, the process of restoring the Great Synagogue was launched.

Decoration left after the warehouse were dismantled and more than 150 tons of garbage was removed from the territory.

The vault above the bimah was restored with an original brick in authentic brickwork.

The western pediment and east facade have been restored.

The greatest amount of resources has been spent on the restoration of the roof.

Performing a protective function, it nevertheless corresponds to the main task that the activists set for themselves by restoring the authentic look of the Great Maharsha Synagogue as it looked in the early 20th century, with the women’s section in the northern annex and the western extension to which the baroque pediment will be relocated.


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