Adaptation of the White Synagogue for the public needs

Project facts

Project promoter:
Joniskis District Municipality Administration
Project Number:
Target groups
Young adults
Initial project cost:
Final project cost:
From EEA Grants:
€ 297,860
The project is carried out in:
Šiaulių apskritis


The project aims to stimulate cultural life and social and economic development of the region by preserving and adapting a unique Jewish cultural heritage building. The White Synagogue, built in 1823, combines the features of both classicism and romantic architectural styles. Together with the Red Synagogue (renovated during the previous EEA funding period of 2004-2009), it forms a unique and rare 19th century synagogue complex. Aims of the project are achieved by completing the maintenance work and installing events facilities. Public awareness of cultural heritage preservation and Jewish culture will be raised as seminars addressing these topics will be organised during the course of the project. The synagogue is foreseen to become an important cultural center for the local community and the whole region, as various cultural and educational events will take place in the building after its adaptation. In this way, the project contributes to the development of public infrastructure, cultural services and heritage accessibility, and increases the touristic attractiveness of the Joniskis disctrict.

Summary of project results

The White Synagogue located in the Joniškis city centre is one of the oldest buildings in the town. It combines characteristics of the late classicism and romanticism styles. Along with the Red Synagogue it comprises a unique synagogue ensemble of the 19th century. Unfortunately, the White Synagogue was turned into a warehouse following World War II, later became a fitness facility and the interior got destroyed. The Red Synagogue was restored and adapted to the public’s needs in the previous 2004-2009 EEA Grants funding period. This time around, major repairs have been carried out for internal premises of the White synagogue and the previously started façade restoration works have been completed. Furniture and required computer, lightning and audio equipment were also acquired, thus providing perfect conditions to organise various events. An interactive exhibition was installed in the synagogue, allowing to get better acquainted with the history of Joniškis. Understandingof Jewish cultural heritage and important aspects of synagogues architecture has been improved during the conference organized within the project. The granted support allowed to finish revitalization works of the valuable synagogue ensemble and thus contributed to the improvement of the public infrastructure, the touristic attractiveness of the city, increased familiarity with the Jewish history. The revitalized complex was handed over to Joniškis Museum of History and Culture. Due to its activity, the complex has already become an important part of the town and an active cultural venue.

Summary of bilateral results