After being closed by the communist regime and a decade of restoration work, the Bryansk synagogue has been reopened to the public.
Israel National News | Photo by Vladimir Kotzkin – The restored synagogue
In the city of Bryansk, which is about four hundred kilometers from the capital Moscow, there used to be one of the largest and most magnificent synagogues in Russia.
At the initiative of the Rabbi of Bryansk, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Zaklas, and the Chairman of the Jewish Community of Bryansk, Lev Moisevic Linkov, restoration and renovation works were carried out at the site over the course of a decade, and with the completion of the extensive project, the synagogue will be reopened, with the magnificent building also serving as an educational-community and humanitarian activity center.
Since the arrival of Rabbi Zaklas and his wife Rebecca, a Jewish Renaissance has been taking place in the city. The Jewish community in the city died out with the rise of the communist regime which closed the synagogues one by one, and the thousands of Jewish families remained without any Jewish community framework.
Chabad emissaries have recently been working to restore Jewish activity to the city, with an emphasis on the younger generation.
The opening ceremony of the new synagogue was held in the presence of the mayor, members of the ‘Duma’ (House of Representatives in Russia), and hundreds of the city’s Jews. The synagogue is built with unique wooden decorations, combined with stained glass works and mosaic paintings, on which artisans worked for many months.
The Chief Rabbi of Russia, Rabbi Berel Lazar, came to visit the city and after meeting with the governor of the Bryansk region, Aleksandr Vasilevich Bogomez, the two toured the synagogue together. The chief rabbi gave lectures and encouraged the residents of the city to take part in the activity invested for their sake and for the sake of the future generation.