Rabbi David Shvedik speaks at ceremony
Rabbi David Shvedik speaks at ceremonyIsrael news photo: courtesy of Chabad.org

The Jewish community of the renamed city of Kaliningrad is rebuilding the synagogue that was destroyed during the Kristallnacht pogroms of 1938. 

The 1896 Konigsberg Synagogue will be erected on the same spot in which it once stood, according to Chabad-Lubavitch emissary and Chief Rabbi of the city, Rabbi David Shvedik.

Although a circus currently occupies the space where the synagogue is to be built, Shvedik expressed optimism that the new building will soon replace it.

The rabbi told the Chabad.org website that he estimates the new synagogue will be able to open its doors in about two years' time.

Shvedik plans to add a school, nursery, and a community center to the completed structure, he said.

“Everyone here wants to build,” he stressed. “And thank G-d everyone is helping.” A recent groundbreaking ceremony to launch the project included Mayor Alexander Yaroshuk as well as diplomats, public figures and federal and municipal officials.

“This new house of worship and community center will undoubtedly become the center of Jewish life in our city and region,” the rabbi said.