A Synagogue is not only the house of prayer, but also is a epicentre of intellectual and social lives of Jewish communes, their essence, symbol of reconciliation, will to live. In Synagogue building hierarchies of values, identities and dreams are embodied in the stone, brick, wood and metal. Growing assimilation of Jews and their participation in social transitions taking place in Central and Eastern Europe, mainly since the mid 19th century, is also reflected in the architecture of Synagogues.
The exhibition is a journey in time and space. It shows very well how the way of life of the Jewish community in this multi ethnic region changed and how its participation in social, economic, cultural and intellectual grew. That is why we were all shocked when this process was stopped as a result of the tragedy of the Holocaust.
On the boards presented at the exhibition showing Synagogues of Central and Eastern Europe can be seen in ruin, yet being spectacular remnants of once flourishing culture. The mission of the Hungarian Jewish Cultural Association and of the entire Hungarian nation is preserving this heritage and making it accessible to other nations. Yet at the same time we wish to remind everyone that we bear huge responsibility of preventing the new tragedy.
Peter Kirschner, chairman of the Hungarian Jewish Cultural Association – excerpt from the foreword to the exhibition’s catalogue.