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Vul. Balabana, 8 – former "Meleches Henoch" synagogue

ID: 1636

The building, which stands in the yard of the house number 8 on Balabana street, is the former synagogue of the shoemakers' society Meleches Henoch, built in 1923. Its adaptation for a production shop has distorted its original appearance.

History

1922 — the synagogue project was designed.
1923 — the synagogue construction.
1960 — the synagogue is reconstructed and adapted for a production shop.

Beginning from the late 19th century, Lviv’s Jewish societies, both craftsmen's and others, started constructing their own separate synagogues. Before, they had used to open their prayer rooms at major synagogues. In 1923 a separate prayer house was built by the artisan society of shoemakers led by Glausberg and Leo Schapiro.

Permission for its construction was issued by the Lviv Magistrate's Building Administration. The project of this small synagogue was designed by architect Leon Karszewski in 1922. The plot (number 695 2/4), chosen for the synagogue construction, was located in a closed area formed by buildings, in a neighbourhood inhabited by Jews. The synagogue functioned till the Shoah.

In the Soviet times the neglected synagogue building was restructured and used as a production shop; the shape of window and door openings was changed.

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Architecture

The building is constructed of brick on a rectangular plan (14.0 x 5.10 m), stretched from north to south. Its western wall is adjacent to the neighboring house. The block with one tier of windows is covered with a sloped roof having a wooden structure.

The synagogue had two traditional entrances leading to the men's and women's prayer rooms. The building was notable for large arched window and door openings on the long representative east façade. Traditionally, a round window on the façade's axis illuminated the Torah niche. Unlike the project, the main entrance was arranged in the cut south-east corner. It was accentuated by a porch with little cast metal columns.

The reconstruction of the synagogue as a production shop has changed its original appearance. Now the former synagogue is a modest building with no stylistic traits.

Personalities

Glausberg  a leader of the shoemakers' artisan society 
Leo Schapiro  a leader of the shoemakers' artisan society 
Leon Karszewski  an architect who designed the synagogue building

Sources

  1. State Archive of Lviv Oblast (DALO) 2/1/7017.
  2. Бойко О. Синагоги Львова. (Львів, 2008)
By Oksana Boyko