Two former synagogues in Kedainiai, Lithuania, 2006. Photo (c) Ruth Ellen Gruber
The Center for Jewish Art in Jerusalem has announced the publication of the first volume of its ambitious catalogue of Synagogues in Lithuania.
This publication offers a catalogue of the extant synagogues in Lithuania: 96 buildings in 59 cities and towns, among them 17 synagogues built of wood. Until World War II there were about 1,000 Jewish prayer houses in Lithuania, while today only 10% exist, many abandoned and in different state of deterioration. Only three synagogues are active.
The catalogue consists of 59 geographical entries. Each entry includes a short overview of the history of the Jewish community in the town where a synagogue is preserved, comprehensive information about the vanished synagogues in that town and a detailed description of the extant synagogue building or buildings. The entries are richly illustrated with archival historical photographs and architectural designs of the synagogues, and recent documentation of the extant buildings with measured architectural drawings. The catalogue has two introductory articles: “Synagogues in Lithuania: A Historical Overview” by Dr. Vladimir Levin and “Synagogue Architecture in Lithuania” by Dr. Sergey Kravtsov.
The first volume of the catalogue includes the following entries:
Alanta, Alsedžiai, Alytus, Anykščiai, Balbieriškis, Biržai, Čekiške, Daugai, Eišiškes, Jonava, Joniškelis, Joniškis, Kaltinenai, Kalvarija, Kaunas, Kedainiai, Klaipeda, Krekenava, Kupiškis, Kurkliai, Laukuva, Lazdijai, Linkuva, Lygumai, Marijampole, Merkine.
The second volume is due for publication at the end of 2010 and will include the entries:
Pakruojis, Panevėžys, Pasvalys, Plungė, Prienai, Pušalotas, Raguva, Ramygala, Rietavas, Rozalimas, Salantai, Seda, Šeta, Šiauliai, Šilalė, Simnas, Širvintos, Skaudvilė, Švėkšna, Telšiai, Tirkšliai, Troškūnai, Ukmergė, Utena, Vabalninkas, Veisiejai, Vilnius, Vištytis, Žagarė, Zarasai, Žasliai, Žemaičių Naumiestis, Žiežmariai.