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Frontpage News 2012 Restoring Polish synagogue

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Restoring the White Stork Synagogue

  • The synagogue and cultural centre for the Jewish community in Wroclaw, Poland, will be renovated and modernised with support from the EEA Grants.

    Dating back to the 1820s, the White Stork Synagogue was designed by the architect Carl Ferdinand Langhans. Partly destroyed by Nazi squads during the 1938 crystal night, the historic building was later taken over by the Association of the Jewish Religious Communities in Poland. Only in 1996 was the synagogue given back to the Jewish religious community in Wroclaw, and today the synagogue serves both as a cultural centre and as a religious temple for the Jewish community.


    Despite active use of the synagogue, the building is today in dire need of renovation. Cultural performances can only take place in the main hall, which also serves religious purposes. Until now, artists and groups have had to be careful to not disturb the sacred space of the temple. Now, with funding from the EEA Grants in place, a new hall for performances will be created in the synagogue's basement. The new space will give possibilities for more varied performances, and the restored synagogue will also provide facilities for a modern Jewish museum. The restoration project is implemented in close collaboration with the municipality of Wroclaw.

    The Bente Kahan Foundation, promoting the renovation project, organises a large number of cultural activities in the synagogue, including concerts with Jewish musicians and composers, theatre performances, art exhibitions, and workshops and seminars. Through these activities, the synagogue is able to introduce Jewish culture and history to an audience beyond the conventional Jewish community.

  • Country:


    Project title:

    Restoration of the "White Stork Synagogue" within the scope of the "Culture Paths of Four Temples" Program

    Case number:


    Priority sector:

    Conservation of European cultural heritage


    € 2,059,851



    Type & project assistance:

    Individual Project

    Project promoter:

    Fundacja Bente Kahan [\"Bente Kahan\" Foundation]

    Type of institution:

    Non-governmental organisation

    Project website:

    Project duration:

    18 months

    Project cost:

    € 2,500,841

    Grant rate:


    Grant from:

    EEA Grants

    Grant agreement date:

    25 April 2008

    The purpose of the Project is the renovation of the White Stork Synagogue in Wroclaw, with the overall objective of preservation and rejuvenation of Jewish cultural heritage within the community and in this region of Poland. Reference is made to the application dated 13 April 2007 and to any subsequent correspondence with the Focal Point.

    The completed Project shall include the following activities and results:

    - Construction works to the interior and facades of the synagogue;

    - Landscaping of the grounds on which the synagogue stands;

    - Adaptation of the synagogue infrastructure, to accommodate exhibits and educational functions and programs;

    - Construction supervision;

    - Project Management and publicity.

    The Project Promoter is the Bente Kahan Foundation in Wroclaw. The Project shall be implemented in partnership with the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in the Republic of Poland and with the Municipality of Wroclaw.

    The Focal Point shall ensure that the Municipality of Wroclaw provides at least 15 percent of the estimated eligible Project costs.