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Israeli Embassy to help in restoring Bykhov synagogue

The Israeli Embassy in Belarus will provide all kinds of assistance in restoring Bykhov synagogue, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Israel to Belarus Joseph Shagal told during his meeting with the Chairman of Bykhov district executive committee Dmitry Kaleev on 5 June.

The ambassador remarked that he was impressed with the architectural design of Bykhov synagogue. The synagogue live has nothing to do with what Joseph Shagal had heard and had seen on photos before. “This is a truly unique architectural monument that has preserved well. I am eager to provide all-round support to restore it, and might ask the Israeli public and businessmen for assistance,” the diplomat said. Naturally, a lot of funds will be needed to restore this architectural monument; however, concerted efforts will make it absolutely feasible.

During the meeting the parties discussed the funds to finance conservation and subsequent restoration of the synagogue, the alternatives for defining its status and a possibility to set up a permanent museum of Belarusian Jews there.

According to Dmitry Kaleev, this year Br350 million was granted from the state budget to finance conservation works of the monument. The construction documents have been worked out by Mogilev enterprise “Centre of restoration”. The roof of the synagogue will be cleared from trees; the ancient laying will be reinforced and plasterwork will be done where needed.

The synagogue was constructed in 1640-1650. It was a part of the town’s defense installations alongside with a castle and a church. The synagogue was used to defend the town from invaders in the 17th-18th centuries. During archeological excavations carried out in 1970-1980-s a great number of artifacts were found confirming the important role of the synagogue in the town’s defense.

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