Home
    Under Reconstruction!
Object Alone

Obj. ID: 14284
Jewish Architecture
  Epstein’s Kloyz in Vilnius, Lithuania

© Vladimir Levin, Photographer: Levin, Vladimir, 2005

The kloyz was established in 1858 by B. and R. Epstein, members of a prominent family. The current building was erected in 1915 by a wealthy benefactor Mordechai Epstein (1844–1916).

 The building of Epstein’s Kloyz is located in a courtyard between 3 Gėlių and 4 (former 8) Šv. Stepono Streets. In 1916 there were 50 regular worshippers; the kloyz paid the owner of the house annual rent of 250 rubles. By 1933 the number of worshippers dropped to 42. In the interwar period the kloyz was famous for its fund for loans without interest intended for Jewish women.

The building of the so-called “brick style” is constructed of yellowish brick upon a brick and boulder socle, and is covered with a hipped roof of asbestos sheets. The kloyz was situated on the first and second floors, while the ground floor housed workshops and stores, which had wide arched doorways. The prayer hall has an irregular square plan, oriented towards southeast, while the women’s section was supposedly situated at a gallery along the northwestern wall. The prayer hall was lit through four pairs of segment-headed windows – two pairs at the southwestern façade, one at the southeastern and one at the northeastern façade. Each pair is surmounted by a small round niche (maybe original window) and a straight pediment with bent middle part. Four small segment-headed windows of the women’s gallery are situated in the upper tier of the northwestern façade. The prayer hall was accessed through an outer staircase, leading to the balcony on the northeastern façade, where a wide portal is situated to the right of the windows; the women’s gallery was reached by the next flight of stairs, leading to a doorway in the upper level of northeastern wall.

During Soviet times some openings were transformed and new openings were made. In 2008 the former kloyz stodd abandoned.

Summary and Remarks

10 image(s)

sub-set tree:

Name/Title
Epstein’s Kloyz in Vilnius | Unknown
Object Detail
Monument Setting
Unknown
Date
1915
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
After 1945
Artist/ Maker
Unknown (Unknown)
Historical Origin
Unknown
Community type
Congregation
Unknown
Location
Lithuania | Vilnius County | Vilnius
| 3 Gėlių St. - 4 Šv. Stepono St.
Site
Unknown
School/Style
Period
Unknown
Period Detail
Collection
Unknown |
Documentation / Research project
Unknown
Iconographical Subject
Unknown |
Textual Content
Unknown |
Languages of inscription
Unknown
Type of grave
Unknown
Material/Technique
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Density
Colors
Construction material
Brick
Measurements
Height
Length
Width
Depth
Circumference
Thickness
Diameter
Weight
Axis
Panel Measurements
Condition
Extant
Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
Present Usage
Dwelling
Present Usage Details
Condition of Building Fabric
B (Fair)
Architectural Significance type
Historical significance: Event/Period
Historical significance: Collective Memory/Folklore
Historical significance: Person

The obituary to Mordechai Epstein stated:


R. Mordechai Epstein was one of the so called “bnei aliyah” [members of elite], the number of which diminishes from generation to generation: the great gvir [wealthy notable], who spent his every free minute for studying Torah, and invested a great deal of energy and money for spreading the knowledge of Talmudic literature among the people. Thus he always supported large and small yeshivas and helped much to strengthen the institutions, which aim to support and reinforce the Orthodox Jewry. Reb Mordechai Epstein’s house was, in general, the house of Torah and philanthropy, which was always visited by the great rabbis […]. Notwithstanding his multiple activities and business obligations, he had found time to write several books on halakhah and agadah under the pen-name “Shaarei Torah” [The gates of the Torah] […].Reb Mordechai Epstein was involved in the Vilna community during his entire life. He served for many years as a gabai at the Talmud Torah, as a committee member of the M. Strashun Library and played a significant part in several other charitable institutions of the local community. […] Thousands went after his coffin and many eulogies were said in the cemetery; people knew and felt that one of the “last” has died.

Architectural Significance: Style
Architectural Significance: Artistic Decoration
Urban significance
Part of Jewish quarter
Significance Rating
2 (Regional)
0
Ornamentation
Custom
Contents
Codicology
Scribes
Script
Number of Lines
Ruling
Pricking
Quires
Catchwords
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Direction/Location
Façade (main)
Endivances
Location of Torah Ark
Location of Apse
Location of Niche
Location of Reader's Desk
Location of Platform
Temp: Architecture Axis
Arrangement of Seats
Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
Coin
Coin Series
Coin Ruler
Coin Year
Denomination
Signature
Colophon
Scribal Notes
Watermark
Hallmark
Group
Group
Group
Group
Group
Trade Mark
Binding
Decoration Program
Suggested Reconsdivuction
History/Provenance
Main Surveys & Excavations
2008
Sources

Cohen-Mushlin, Aliza, Sergey Kravtsov, Vladimir Levin, Giedrė Mickūnaitė, Jurgita Šiaučiūnaitė-Verbickienė (eds.), Synagogues in Lithuania. A Catalogue, 2 vols. (Vilnius: VIlnius Academy of Art Press, 2010-12)
Leyzer Ran, Yerushalaim delita (New York, 1974), vol. 1, p. 104;
Type
Documenter
|
Author of description
|
Architectural Drawings
|
Computer Reconstruction
|
Section Head
|
Language Editor
|
Donor
|
Negative/Photo. No.
The following information on this monument will be completed:
Unknown |