The Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland is undergoing efforts aimed at revitalizing the 18th century synagogue in Przysucha (mazowieckie province).We want to restore the synagogue and turn it into a vibrant cultural center that will serve the needs of the visiting Jewish groups and the local community. We invite you for a virtual walk through the 18th century synagogue in Przysucha
The synagogue in Przysucha (yid. Parshishe vel Przishe) was built between 1774 and 1777. With an area of 650m², it is a massive limestone building towering over a small town (current population: 6800). The main prayer chamber is rectangular, with a vaulted ceiling descending in the middle towards a four-piered structure formerly framing the bima (reader’s podium). The aron ha-kodesh, framed by a portal topped with stucco griffins, has also been preserved. Some polychromies remain on the walls.
Jewish settlers arrived in Przysucha shortly after the town’s first location in 1713, establishing a community and founding a Jewish cemetery (still extant today). The town became a centre of Chassidism towards the end of the 18th c. and gained considerable renown for its tzadikkim (Chassidic religious leaders): Abraham of Przysucha (d. 1806), Jacob Yitzhak ben Asher (1766-1813), known as the Holy Jew of Przysucha and credited with being the first propagator of Chassidism in Central Poland, and the latter’s disciple Simcha Bunem (1784-1827). Their ohelot (mausoleums), constructed in the 1980’s at the local Jewish cemetery, are still regularly visited by Chassidim from all over the world.
On the eve of the World War II Jews constituted over 60% of the town’s population. The war brought total extermination of the Jewish community. Thus, an entire era of the town history, lasting over 200 years, was ended.
The Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland came into ownership of the site in 2007. In 2008, we carried out essential protective renovations, but the building still needs urgent repairs. In December 2009 we have completed the construction and conservation documentation, which gives us the ability to apply for the European Union funds necessary to start the restoration and adaptation works.
In 2012 our project of revitalizing the synagogue in Przysucha received support of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland. Thanks to this grant the following protective works were completed in 2012:
- reinforcing foundations under the southern and eastern wall, in order to strengthen the structure of the building;
- building foundations below the metal construction supporting the bima;
- making vertical insulation of the foundations.
In June 2013 the Foundation has started the roof restoration of the Przysucha synagogue. The works were supported by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland, Cultural Heritage Program, priority 1 Monument Preservation
. Roof restoration was completed in September 2013. Between June and October 2014, the third stage of the revitalization of the synagogue took place in Przysucha. The works included the reinforcing of construction of the walls and elevation. The project was supported by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland within the framework of the National Heritage program, priority 1 Protection of Historical Monuments, as well as the Taube Philanthropies, the Cahnman Foundation, the World Monuments Fund and the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland.
In the period between June and October 2015, work on the revitalization of the synagogue continued. The scope of project included the maintenance of the north facade of the building - Phase I, including removal of the damaged external plaster, repairing of stone walls, replacement of window frames, cleanup of the facades. The action was financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage as part of the "Cultural Heritage", priority 1 Protection of Monuments and the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage.At the end of October 2016 the second stage of maintenance of the north facade of the building was completed. Works included wall repairs and reinforcement, hydrophobization, plastering of window openings, assembly of the foundation on the ground level part of the synagogue. A technical documentation was also created for the future securing and repair of the bimah. The action was financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage as part of the "Cultural Heritage", priority 1 Protection of Monuments and the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage.
We ask everyone who would like to contribute directly to the saving of the synagogue to contact us or to make a donation into the given bank account for “The synagogue in Przysucha”.
PLN: PL23 1030 1508 0000 0005 0294 3006
USD: PL98 1030 1508 0000 0005 0294 3014
The project is supported by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland.
The project is supported by the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture.
New Przysucha renovation project brochure» back