About The Center

Chevra Lomdei Mishnayot Synagogue

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The Chevra Lomdei Mishnayot Synagogue is the only surviving Jewish house of prayer in Oswiecim. It was built circa 1913 and functioned until the Nazi occupation. During the war, its interior was devastated and the building was turned into a munitions warehouse. After World War II, a group of Jewish survivors restored its primary function. However, the small group of surviving Jews soon left Poland and the synagogue ceased to function. In the 1970s, the Communist government nationalized the building and turned into a carpet warehouse.

 

 

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In 1998, the synagogue became the first Jewish communal property to be returned to a Jewish community in Poland and the recipients of the property, the Bielsko-Biala Jewish Community, donated the synagogue to the Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation. The building was completely restored to its pre-war condition described in testimonies and the recollections of survivors. It reopened in September 2000.


Today, the Chevra Lomdei Mishnayot Synagogue has neither a rabbi nor a local congregation; as the only Jewish house of worship in the immediate vicinity of any of the death camps, it provides visitors with a sanctuary for prayer, reflection, and solace.