Slonim Synagogue

The Great Synagogue in Slonim (Belarusian: Вялікая сінагога Слоніма) or simply the Slonim Synagogue (Belarusian: Слонімская сінагога) is a 17th-century baroque former synagogue building in Slonim, Belarus.Has a status of Historical and Cultural value of the Republic of Belarus.

Slonim Synagogue
Synagogue, Slonim.jpg
LocationSlonim,  Belarus
Geographic coordinates53°5′36.57″N 25°19′3.33″E / 53.0934917°N 25.3175917°E / 53.0934917; 25.3175917
Direction of façadeEast


The synagogue was the main religious building of Slonim's then numerous and influential Jewish community. The building was erected in 1642[1] and was initially part of the town's fortifications system.

In 1881 the synagogue was heavily damaged in a fire.

During the Second World War, almost the entire Jewish population of Slonim was murdered by the Nazis in the Holocaust. The building was left untouched by the German Luftwaffe during World War II, but has subsequently deteriorated. After the war, the Communist administration used the building as a furniture warehouse.[2]

In 2001, after the restoration of the independence of Belarus, the building was returned to the Belarusian Jewish community.

Current stateEdit

The synagogue is standing but in a dilapidated condition.Late December 2020 the individual from Minsk has bought the synagogue at the auction and opened the Saving Heritage foundation to help the Great synagogue in Slonim to survive.

Restoration projectEdit

Under an initiative of the Kaplinsky family, a steering group for the conservation of the synagogue was established through the Foundation for Jewish Heritage to restore the Slonim Synagogue and to make it a “major educational facility, cross-cultural meeting place, memorial, place of worship, and a cultural centre ensuring that the Great Synagogue has a sustainable future”.[3] The steering group includes Britons and Americans with family links to the Jewish community of Slonim and the architect Tszwai So.[4] On 29 December 2020 the Synagogue was sold at public auction to a writer and musician Ilona Ioanna Reeves. In 2022 the writer gave the synagogue [5]


Fishmarket in front of the synagogue, 1906
Slonim Synagogue, 1975 painting by Valery Sliunchanka
Interiors of the synagogue before 1939
Interiors of the synagogue before 1939
Interiors of the synagogue before 1939
Slonim Synagogue, 1930 photo by the well-known Belarusian-Polish photographer, Jan Bulhak

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Great Slonim Synagogue —History
  2. ^ - History
  3. ^ - Vision
  4. ^ - People
  5. ^ "In Eastern Europe, historic synagogues are sold for the price of a used car". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 2021-03-05. Retrieved 2021-04-07.

Synagogue in Slonim 2021 Slonim synagogue Slonim synagogue history

Ioanna Reeves article for “Tsaytshrift” journal of Jewish studies (European Humanities University) Slonim Synagogue and Ioanna Reeves

External linksEdit