Latvia Celebrates Newly Renovated Old Synagogue

Latvia Celebrates Newly Renovated Old Synagogue

Photo Credit: Arkady Gluhih,

Latvia’s President, Valdis Zatlers, Chief Rabbi Mordechai Glazman and Jewish Community Leader Mr. Sucharenko.

Riga, Latvia

August 30, 2009

( A distinguished crowd celebrated the completion of a renovation project on Riga’s 105 year-old synagogue last Wednesday.

Joining Latvia’s Chief Rabbi Mordechai Glazman, who opened the ceremony with the traditional shofar blasts heard during the month of Elul, and a recitation of Psalms, was Jewish community leader Mr. Sucharenko, Latvia’s President, Valdis Zatlers, members of the Latvian parliament, and Chabad representatives of Jewish communities in Europe. Representing Israel was the State’s Minister of Public Affairs and the Diaspora, Mr. Yuli Edelstein.

The only one among scores of synagogues in the area to have survived Nazi destruction, the synagogue has deep symbolic, but also practical resonance. With the exception of the war years, Jews have convened for daily prayer services in this synagogue without interruption, even during the communist era.

Renovated over a period of two years, the project is part of a pattern of Jewish revival in Riga, stimulated by Rabbi Glazman, who has been serving the Jewish community here since 1991. Under his leadership, Riga's Jewish community now enjoys a Jewish day school, Jewish preschools, a kosher soup kitchen, a mikvah, and a kosher restaurant.

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