“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 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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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.