Pko, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Roof repairs are underway on the Nożyk synagogue. It is the only functioning pre-war synagogue in Warsaw

The Nożyk Synagogue in Warsaw is undergoing further renovation work. This time it is a comprehensive replacement of the entire roof covering, flashings and repair of the damaged wooden structure. This year’s subsidy for the roof renovation amounted to PLN 300,000.The work is scheduled for completion in late autumn this year

During the works, after removing the roofing, it turned out that the wooden rafter framing was in a very bad condition – the beams were badly cracked, biologically corroded and deformed. Many of the elements had to be replaced, and those that could be salvaged will be reinforced and treated with suitable preparations. Completely new formwork and membrane sheathing were also made. Roofing with new sheet metal will soon begin
The synagogue at 6 Twarda Street is the only preserved and functioning pre-war synagogue in Warsaw. Since 2008, the building has been undergoing major and minor renovations. The city is co-financing the work with a grant that already exceeds one million zlotys

The synagogue today. Photo: Pko, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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In the 19th century, Warsaw had the largest concentration of Jews in Europe and the second largest in the world. The growing number of worshippers led to the need for a new synagogue. This need was met by a Warsaw merchant in the haberdashery industry, Zalman Nożyk, who together with his wife Rywka lived at 9 Próżna St. The man bought a plot of land at 6 Twarda St. in 1893, immediately intending to donate it to the Jewish Community. Nożyk then applied to the gubernial authority for permission to build a synagogue at his own expense, the design of which was probably made by Leandro Marconi. Construction work began in the spring of 1898 and the building was finally completed in 1902. The Nożyk Synagogue in Warsaw was designed to accommodate around 600 people, half men and half women. The T-plan shape of the building most likely referred to the attempts to reconstruct the Jerusalem Temple that were underway at the time. The decorative facades in an eclectic style refer to the ornamentation of Romanesque, Byzantine and Moorish architecture. In 1940, the synagogue was closed and devastated by the Nazis, serving as stables for horses and a feed store. After the creation of the Warsaw Ghetto, the building again served a religious function until the liquidation of the so-called “small ghetto” in July 1942. The synagogue survived the war but was damaged during the fighting of the Warsaw Uprising

The Nożyk Synagogue in 1944 and today. Photo from USHMM, photographer George Kadish Zvi Kadushin and whiteMAD/Mateusz Markowski

After repairs in the post-war period, the building functioned as a synagogue again from 1951 until it was closed again in 1968. Between 1977 and 1983, the building underwent a major renovation, during which an annex was added on the eastern side to serve as offices. The work was carried out by the Warsaw branch of Pracownia Konservationacji Zabytków under the supervision of Hanna Szczepanowska and Ewa Dziedzic. The synagogue has been open again since 1983. Today, prayers are held regularly in the building, but the Nożyk Synagogue in Warsaw is not only a place of religious practice but also a thriving centre of Jewish culture, hosting numerous exhibitions, concerts, vernissages and meetings. In the early 1990s, a series of anti-Semitic acts occurred, during which, among other things, attempts were made to burn down the synagogue. At the beginning of the 21st century, several acts of anti-Semitic vandalism occurred again. The synagogue is a building of historic value. It was entered in the national register of immovable monuments under number 873 on 1 December 1973


Read also: Architecture | Renovation | Monuments | History | Sacral architecture | Warsaw

Subject: Roof repairs are underway on the Nożyk synagogue. It is the only working pre-war synagogue in Warsaw

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