The ancient synagogue
The ancient synagogueCourtesy of the photgrapher

A Jewish man who loves history visited the city of Illintsi in Ukraine and discovered an ancient synagogue that had been converted into a carpentry workshop over the years.

He took photographs of the walls and excitedly called the Chabad emissary of Vinnytsia, Rabbi Shaul Horowitz.

He asked the Rabbi to come to the building to talk to the locals and see what could be done to preserve the place.

Illintsi is a small town in the Vinnytsia district, where a large Jewish community existed prior to the Holocaust.

According to official city documents, they call the building "Beit Midrash," while another building in the city was called "Beit Knesset" before the Holocaust.

In July 1941, the Nazis arrived in the city and began confronting the local Jews, concentrating them all in the city’s ghetto.

By April 1942, about 1,000 of the ghetto residents had been murdered, another 700 Jews were murdered a month later. The remaining Jews in Illintsi were transferred by the end of that year to a nearby labor camp, and at the end of 1942 the ghetto houses were set on fire. All Jews who lived in the ghetto were murdered.

Operations manager of the United Jewish Community of Ukraine says: "The restoration and preservation of the building is planned for the beginning of July. After that we will help the owner of the site to restore the murals."

The discovery comes after another discovery about two weeks ago, when Ukrainian researchers claimed that they found an ancient 100-year-old synagogue in the village of Dashiv in the Vinnytsia district, which was never discovered by local residents and they did not know of its existence.

According to the researchers, the Jewish community was sure that the synagogue in Dashiv was destroyed. But, as they found out, it survived.

Local historians say that the Bolsheviks built a button factory on the site where the synagogue once stood and destroyed the interior of the synagogue. The Jewish community in Vinnytsia were surprised to hear the news from the historians and say that they will check out the matter.

Regarding the synagogue in Dashiv, the United Jewish Community of Ukraine reports: "It is privately owned. We have no plans right now. However, the Ukraine Incognita organization wants to designate the building for preservation, including a monument of local significance, and we are working towards that."