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Former vul. Bohdaniwska – Ohel Yesharim community synagogue

ID: 1645

The synagogue of the Jewish community Ohel Yescharim ( "The Tent of the Fair") was built in 1901 in Lviv's neighborhood called Bohdanivka (pol. Bogdanówka) located on Bogdanowska, a side street branching from vul. Horodotska and not existing today. It was a distinctive architectural structure in the Neo-Classicist style, which was destroyed by the Nazis during the Shoah.

History

One of Lviv's numerous Jewish communities, called Ohel Yescharim ( "The Tent of the Fair"), was formed on the city's western outskirts, in the neighborhood of Bohdanivka. The community leader, Jakob Brantel, commissioned a project of a synagogue in August of 1900. For the synagogue the parcel number 3711/7 was chosen, situated between the properties of Łeizer Neimann and A. Citronenblatt, both Jews, on Bohdanowska street (now built up), which was perpendicular to the Horodotska road. The synagogue was built in 1901. Its depiction has been preserved on the project stored in the Lviv regional archive. Judging by the synagogue size, the Bohdanivka community was large enough. The synagogue was their public and religious center till the Shoah.

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Architecture

The building was erected in the Historicist style combining Neo-Romanesque and Neo-Classicist elements in its architecture. The synagogue consisted of a large rectangular block (20.60 x 13.20 m) of the prayer hall with a women’s gallery over the vestibule (pulish), which was covered with a high fractured roof, and a smaller synagogal block (12.20 x 6.0 m) with the women’s prayer room, adjacent from the south and covered with a lower roof. The roofs were lit through lucarnes. The synagogue was oriented traditionally and had two typical separate entrances leading to the men’s prayer hall and to the women’s prayer room. The building was notable for its architectural design and large semicircular windows as well as round ones emphasizing its sacred purpose. The windows had Romanesque fillings. The main façade was decorated with banded rustication and topped with a cornice having a Romanesque arcature frieze. The main entrance was accentuated by a false Neo-Classicist portico in the shape of two pilasters with Corinthian capitals supporting a triangular pediment with the shield of David in the tympanum. The pilasters were a replica of traditional symbolic columns at the entrance to the Jewish Temple: the right one, Jachin, or "God will establish", and the left one, Boaz, or "In Him strength".

The spacious prayer hall (area 12.50 x 11.70 m; height 7.55 m) was lit by four large windows in the south and east walls and a round one above the Aron haKodesh on the east wall axis. The women’s galleries were connected with the main hall by large semicircular arches (the west gallery by three arches, and the south gallery by one), decorated with profiled archivolts and havingh metal fences. The spaces between the arches were decorated with pilasters having capitals. The Bimah was located in the middle of the virtually square hall; unfortunately, its appearance is not known.

Personalities

Jakob Brantel  head of the community
Łeizer Neimann  owner of the neigboring building plot
A. Citronenblatt — owner of the neigboring building plot
Jan Ertel  a builder

Sources

1. State Archive of Lviv Oblast (DALO) 2/4/1459.
2. DALO 110/1/64 "Spysok Lvivskykh synagog 1857 roku" (A list of Lviv synagogues in 1857)
3. Бойко О. Синагоги Львова. (Львів: Класика, 2008)

By Oksana Boyko