A newly restored 18th-century synagogue from Suriname – one of only two remaining examples – will be a highlight of the Israel Museum’s newly installed Mandel Wing for Jewish Art and Life, on view beginning July 26, 2010, when the Museum opens its expanded and renewed campus to the public.
This rare and striking South American synagogue will stand alongside synagogue interiors from Italy, Germany, and India as part of the Museum’s new Synagogue Route, which will offer visitors the opportunity for a notably rich experience with Jewish ritual traditions from around the world. On display with its original furniture and decorations and a sand floor, the Tzedek ve-Shalom Synagogue will offer visitors a glimpse into Suriname’s once vibrant Jewish community.
Built in 1736 in the capital city of Paramaribo, Suriname, Tzedek ve-Shalom ceased to function as a place of worship in the 1990s. In order to rescue this important example of the Jewish life of this remote Jewish community, the Israel Museum approached its leaders with the aim of restoring and preserving the synagogue on its campus for the benefit of future generations of visitors from around the world. The synagogue’s interior and its original ceremonial objects and furnishings were transferred to the Museum in 1999, where it has now been meticulously refurbished.