Russian city returns shul after 90 years

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Russian city returns shul after 90 years

Authorities in Syzran hand synagogue back to local Jewish community almost a century after it was closed by Communists

Syzran Synagogu
Syzran Synagogu

Local authorities in the Russian city of Syzran have returned a synagogue to the local Jewish community 90 years after it was shuttered by the Communists.

The 1,500 sq. ft. synagogue, built in 1910 and closed 20 years later, was returned last week, the SyzranSmall website reported.

Syzran, in the Volga region, at the foot of the Ural Mountains, has a small Jewish community, which numbered just 150 during the war.

Mayor Nikolay Lyadin said it would be listed as a Monument for Preservation, adding that it would be rededicated and receive a Torah scroll.

The Jewish community asked for the return of the synagogue in 1943, during the Stalin’s era. The request was unusual, since Jewish communities were rarely granted concessions from Soviet authorities.

Jewish communities around the Volga flourished after the 1950s because universities there did not discriminate against Jewish students who were not admitted to higher education institutions further west.

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