Three oldest Synagogues in Kiev
City:
Kiev
Address:
Built:
Open:
10:00 - 18:00
Entrance fee:
This attraction is included in the following city tours
Kiev jewish history & Synagogues
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The whole history of Kiev is inseparable from the history of the Jewish community.

Many famouse places remained untill nowadays, which are part of Kiev and Ukraine history - excit thanks to Jewish philanthropists.

The Bessarabian market, the buildings of the Kiev Polytechnic, the building where the Main Regional Hospital is now located, and the present synagogue on Shchekavitskaya, and the prayer houses on the Lower Shaft, Yaroslavskaya, Mezhigorskaya and many other buildings appeared through the financial support of the Jeweish community.

They've surrounded the whole area of Podil district, where many of Kiev Jews lived,  with a great infrastructure: first pharmacies, police department, the fire station, and even the first water pump in the Kiev city were founded there.

Our modern society and probably even the current owners might not even suspect the origin of this magnificent architecture.

Synagogue of BrodskyOne of the three synagogues in Kiev - the Brodsky Synagogue is located in the heart of the cityon Shota Rustaveli 13 Street. The building of the synagogue, built in 1898 by the famous Kiev sugar magnate Laser Brodsky who also went by the nickname “Sugar King" , was confiscated by the Soviet authorities in 1926, and only in 1997 it was again transferred to the Jewish community of Kiev. At that time the government didn't allow the Jewish community from Kiev to build cultural monuments, instead they used chapels that was already build. Because the Synagogues didn't require a special architecture. The only requirements that cannot be changed, is viewed by the orientation on the Jewish Synagogues in Jerusalem. Then for the architect Gregory Shleifer to be able to get approval for his new project, by the local administration, he did it this way. From the one side of the building it reminded as a simple living place. But for the main facade he located it on the side. Just because of his cunning it was approved by the administration.  

     In the hall of the synagogue a small museum was created. Here you can see the work of the famous Israeli sculptor Frank Meisler, a fragment of the Torah scroll of the 2nd-5th century, a copy of the key from the opening of the synagogue in 1898, old books, bales, tefillins, mezuzes, candlesticks.

     Literally through the house from the central Synagogue, there is the second Synagogue, founded in 1899 in Kiev, it was also called Kupecheskaya, from the name so everyone could understand, that it was built with the money of Jewish merchants. At that time if the first merchants visited the first guild, then the second went to the merchants of the guild-second. In Soviet times it was closed; The building was completely rebuilt for a movie theater "Kinopanorama", which worked on the same kinosystem. Now those houses is the cinema called Kinopanorama, but now the Jewish community is negotiating to return this Synagogue back to them.

    The oldest of the existing synagogues in Kiev is located in Podol. This synagogue of the Kiev Jewish religious community is also known as the Rosenberg synagogue or the main synagogue on Podol. The synagogue was erected in 1894-1895 on the means of the merchant Gabriel-Yakov Gesilevich Rosenberg, who owned a plot of land and the building itself. Architect  Gordenin designed the building in the Moorish style.

Rosenberg sunagogue         In the Soviet era, the synagogue in Podol remained operational until 1929, but then it was closed by the authorities and handed over to the regional club of handicraft workers. However, after the end of the Great Patriotic War, in 1945, the activity of the synagogue was resumed. According to the data for the 1950s, according to the great Jewish holidays, up to 30 thousand believers visited the synagogue. For a long time it was the only active synagogue in Kiev.

    Near the first Synagogue you will find a monument to Sholem Aleichem (1859-1916) - a Jewish writer who became one of the founders of literature in the Yiddish language, including the children's as well. His goal was to educate the common people, because only few of them knew Hebrew. Having received the inheritance after the death of his father - in- law, he published Almanac. He sympathized with the Zionist movement ( and actually he didn't fully share his ideals).

Sholem Aleichem in Kiev      In 1888, he joined the Palestinian organization Hovevei Zion, and in 1907 was delegeted from US at the VII Zionist Congress in the Hague.

A lot of critics call Cholem Aleichem a Jewish Mark Twain, for the similarity of styles and love of literature for children. Later, at the meeting Mark Twain noticed that he considered himself as an American Sholem Aleichem. Sholem Aleichem also was actively engaged in literary and social activities, for example, preparing the puplication in favor of the victims of the Chisinan Pogrom. After the pogroms in 1905, he left with his family to Switzerland, then he moved to Germany. It is believed that he crossed the ocean four times.

    However, the writer’s incurable illness, tuberculosis, began to inform itself more and more. To the very end of his life, Sholem-Aleichem showed intomidable energy and inexhaustible thirst for creativity, constantly arranging creative tours with public readings and oral performances. With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, as a Russian citizen, he was departed from Germany to the neutral side -Denmark. His last years of his life, Solem Aleichem spent in New York. In 1916, he died of tuberculosis, and was hurried in the Old Maunt Carmel in Queens.