Selected Hebrew Manucripts from the Bavarian State Library
By Aliza Cohen-Mushlin, in collaboration with Yaffa Levy, Michal Sternthal, Ilona Steimann, Anna Nizza-Caplan and Estherlee Kanon-Ebner.
Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag Publishers, 2020.
XLVIII, 570 pages
The Hebrew manuscripts collection in the Bavarian State Library in Munich is of utmost importance, because it unravels the intricately close associations between Jews and Christians: Jewish scribes and converts writing for Christian humanists; Christian artists painting for Jewish clients; and Jewish artists working in Christian workshops.
The book deals with 84 selected Hebrew manuscripts: 30 illuminated manuscripts and 54 manuscripts of the collection which belonged to Johann Jacob Fugger, some of which are illuminated. It is not merely a catalogue, but a deep research of every manuscript which includes extensive examination of its codicology, paleography, texts and illustrations, as well as the research on the manuscripts’ history and their Jewish and Christian owners. The iconography and style of each illumination which appears in the manuscripts is scrutinized and compared to its parallels in other manuscripts, to determine place and date. In order not to make this book too voluminous, all illuminations in the manuscripts and their comparative material are available on-line, in the Bezalel Narkiss Index of Jewish Art at the Center for Jewish Art, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
In the Shadow of Empires: Synagogue Architecture in East Central Europe
by Sergey R. Kravtsov, with preface by Ilia Rodov
Weimar: Grünberg Verlag, 2018. 294 pages, ca. 100 ills, paperback
“These meticulously researched and clearly presented articles create new ways of looking at East European Jewish architecture that goes beyond the necessary but often superficial country surveys of the past few decades. While collectively presenting an important overview of the development and spread of synagogue types and forms, each article attacks a specific question about why and how buildings were built and what this teaches us about religion, politics, economics, and intellectual circumstances of the period and the Jewish mindset of that time and place. Kravtsov is this generation’s foremost historian of synagogue architecture and here he gives meaning to what otherwise would be abstract and empty form.”
Samuel D. Gruber
President, International Survey of Jewish Monuments
Synagogues in Ukraine: Volhynia
by Sergey R. Kravtsov and Vladimir Levin
Jerusalem, 2017. Zalman Shazar Center and Center for Jewish Art
Synagogues in Ukraine: Volhynia written by Sergey R. Kravtsov and Vladimir Levin of the Center for Jewish Art at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is devoted to the history and architecture of synagogues throughout the historical region of Volhynia in northwest Ukraine. The two-volume book of 848 pages is richly illustrated with 1,220 color and b/w photographs, measured drawings of the synagogues and numerous maps. According to Prof. Shaul Stampfer, this is “a reference book that is reliable, comprehensive – and exciting to read and reread.”
The book deals with 39 extant and 302 vanished synagogues, situated in 23 cities and towns: Berestechko, Chervonoarmiisk (Pulin), Dubno, Horodnytsia, Iziaslav (Zaslaw), Klevan, Kovel, Kremenets, Lutsk, Mlyniv, Novohrad-Volynskyi (Zvil), Olevsk, Ostroh, Polonne, Radyvyliv, Rivne, Shepetivka, Slavuta, Starokostiantyniv, Turiisk, Volodymyr-Volynskyi (Ludmir), Vyshnivets, and Zhytomyr.
Three introductory articles provide a general overview and research on various aspects of the synagogues: "The Legal History of Synagogues in Volhynia," "Synagogue Architecture of Volhynia," and "The Social Function of Synagogue Ceremonial Objects in Volhynia."
Price: $150 + postage (to USA and Canada $55, to Europe €33, in Israel 40 NIS)
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Synagogues in Lithuania
Editors: Aliza Cohen- Mushlin, Sergey Kravtsov, Vladimir Levin, Giedrė Mickūnaite and Jurgita Šiauciūnaitė-Verbickienė.
Vilnius, 2010-2012, Vilnius Academy of Arts Press
First volume: 333 pages, with 501 color illustrations
Second Volume: 472 pages, with 759 color illustrations
Out of print!
This publication offers a catalogue of the extant synagogues in Lithuania: 96 buildings in 59 cities and towns, among them 17 synagogues built of wood. Until World War II there were about 1,000 Jewish prayer houses in Lithuania, while today only 10% exist, many abandoned and in different state of deterioration. Only three synagogues are active.
The catalogue consists of 59 geographical entries. Each entry includes a short overview of the history of the Jewish community in the town where a synagogue is preserved, comprehensive information about the vanished synagogues in that town and a detailed description of the extant synagogue building or buildings. The entries are richly illustrated with archival historical photographs and architectural designs of the synagogues, and recent documentation of the extant buildings with measured architectural drawings. The catalogue has two introductory articles: “Synagogues in Lithuania: A Historical Overview” by Dr. Vladimir Levin and “Synagogue Architecture in Lithuania” by Dr. Sergey Kravtsov.
The catalogue includes the following entries:
Alanta, Alsėdžiai, Alytus, Anykščiai, Balbieriškis, Biržai, Čekiškė, Daugai, Eišiškės, Jonava, Joniškėlis, Joniškis, Kaltinėnai, Kalvarija, Kaunas, Kėdainiai, Klaipėda, Krekenava, Kupiškis, Kurkliai, Laukuva, Lazdijai, Linkuva, Lygumai, Marijampolė, Merkinė, Pakruojis, Panevėžys, Pasvalys, Plungė, Prienai, Pušalotas, Raguva, Ramygala, Rietavas, Rozalimas, Salantai, Seda, Šeta, Šiauliai, Šilalė, Simnas, Širvintos, Skaudvilė, Švėkšna, Telšiai, Tirkšliai, Troškūnai, Ukmergė, Utena, Vabalninkas, Veisiejai, Vilnius, Vištytis, Žagarė, Zarasai, Žasliai, Žemaičių Naumiestis, Žiežmariai.