The project „Synagogue in Oni (Georgia) – traces of Polish and Georgian heritage in Israel”

Written by: Dział Edukacji ŻIH
Project is directed at students from Poland, Georgia and Israel and aimed at presenting the heritage of the Polish Jews, which inspired in turn the Jews in Georgia, and eventually became a myth for Georgian Jews who have settled in Israel.


According to a legend, a rabbi from the Georgian town of Oni studied in Warsaw and, inspired by the Great Synagogue at Tłomackie, wanted to create a similar one in his home town. Basing on a diorama, in 1895 an eclectic synagogue was built high in the Georgian mountains; today, it is the third largest among Georgian synagogues, after Tbilisi and Kutaisi. Due to emigration of Georgian Jews to Israel, their synagogue, and along with it, the story of non-existent Great Synagogue at Tlomackie travelled to Beersheba, where it has become a myth, fantasy and reference point.



Participants of the project, 6 people from each country, along with artist Maja Gordon, photographer Radek Polak and staff from partner institutions will visit Georgia and Israel, where they will learn about the heritage of Polish Jews travelling through various countries and periods in history. Together, they will complete the history and participate in the art project.

As a part of the project, we would like to trace the myth and follow its echoes in architecture and art. It will provide an opportunity to meet inspiring Polish heritage and build relations between young people from Poland, Georgia and Israel.


Author of the project: Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw

Polish partner instititions: Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw, Polish Contemporary Art Foundation, Polish Institute in Tbilisi, Polish Institute in Tel Aviv.

International partner institutions: Georgian University in Tbilisi, Ben Gurion University in Beersheva.

Dates of the project: November – December 2019 (Georgia, Israel).


Co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage under the „Inspirational Culture” Program



Dział Edukacji ŻIH