The historic 19th century Citadel synagogue in the western Romanian city of Timișoara was restored to the Jewish community who have rededicated it after three decades, the Adevarul Romanian news site reported.
The community returned Torah scrolls to the ark, placed a mezuzah at the front entrance and sounded a shofar to rededicate the synagogue.
Today, the community numbers only 600. At one point, there were three active synagogues in the city.
“In the last five years we felt it was very important to give it back to the community, to find resources to renovate it. With G-d’s help resources were found, both from the Romanian Government, from the Timișoara City Hall and from the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania,” the community’s president Luciana Friedman said.
The Citadel synagogue was constructed in 1865 using architectural drawings by famed Viennese architect Carl Schuman. It was re-inaugurated in 1872 in a ceremony attended by Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph.
Described as one of the most historical buildings in the city, the synagogue operated until 1985. The building was subsequently used as an events center for a long time, closing in the 2000s. The building underwent a restoration project beginning in 2018.
The rededication ceremony to reopen the synagogue was attended by local figures and guests from around Romania and internationally, including two rabbis, leaders from the city’s religious groups and Silviu Vexler, president of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania. Several prominent national politicians also attended, and Katrin Goring-Eckhardt, vice president of the German Parliament also appeared.