Community Scholar Program (CSP)
Seventy-five years after the Holocaust, and thirty years after the fall of Communism, how is the Jewish past being preserved and presented in Eastern Europe? In these three illustrated lectures Dr. Samuel Gruber reviews efforts in Eastern Europe by government and private agencies, institutions, and organizations to document, protect, conserve, and maintain Jewish historic and religious sites, especially synagogues, cemeteries, and Holocaust-related sites. In the decades since the fall of the Iron Curtain, the quantity and quality of this work keeps growing, as well as increased engagement Jewish and non-Jewish communities, and the interest of travelers from around the world.
SAVING SYNAGOGUES – In the world of Jewish “monuments,” synagogues are the big-ticket items. There are always considerable political, financial, and technical challenges in restoring synagogues in Eastern Europe, but the biggest problem is always what will the building be used for. Does it have a Jewish use? Can it retain some Jewish identity? How can saving an old building most effectively do justice to past events and contribute to a better present and future. This talk will look at a range of projects big and small - many of which the speaker has been actively involved - including the restoration of the beautiful Tempel Synagogue in Krakow, Poland and synagogues in Boskovice (Czech Republic), and Plovdiv (Bulgaria). We’ll visit a range of projects in the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Ukraine. Some have been successful, some not.
Sponsor: Community Scholar Program (CSP)