September 14th, 2014

Dzierżoniów / Reichenbach

Perhaps you have never heard anything about the City of Reichenbach, after May 8, 1945 Rychbach, and since May 17, 1946 the City of Dzierżoniów in Poland, and, we are quite certain, you heard nothing about the Reichenbach synagogue. This synagogue is one of only three Jewish houses of worship in Silesia, that survived the Hitler years and the end of World War II.

Please take a few minutes of your time and find out about the as­tonishing history of the synagogue of Dzierżoniów / Reichenbach and its various congregations before and after World War II and at our present time, and about our Beiteinu Chaj – 2004 Foundation ( Beiteinu Chaj means Our House Lives On in Hebrew ).



Where is the synagogue?

Built  in 1875, the synagogue is located just 500 meters from the Rynek, the central town square in the city of Dzierżoniów in the province of Dolny Śląsk in Poland, approximately one hour’s drive from the

Silesian capital of Wrocław / Breslau. Until 1945, the city and the province were part of Germany; the city’s name was Reichenbach in Niederschlesien.

Who are we?  (more…)

We are a group of people, interested in history, with different  personal and emotional attachments to a synagogue in Poland, built by German Jews in the 19th century, in a city that became part of Poland after May 1945. A synagogue that through what appeared like a string of miracles survived the Hitler regime – even the burnings of the  Kristallnacht – and World War II. The synagogue also survived the dark years of the Polish Communist regime between 1945 and 1990, and the period of vandalism between 1990 and 2005.

After World War II, by virtue of its location this synagogue once more served its purpose as a house of worship, but in 1990 it was closed and abandoned. It stands to this day, but had gradually fallen into disrepair, until the Beiteinu Chaj – 2004 Foundation began their rescue and work of restoration in the year 2005.

We established the Foundation in 2004. In 2007, right after we became the legal owners of the synagogue, we began our cultural and restorative work – some urgent rescue work had already had been carried out since 2005.

We, the members of the Beiteinu Chaj – 2004 Foundation, have begun the difficult work of rescuing the synagogue from further decay and slowly, but with help of a growing number of supporters,  we hope to restore it to its former beauty and purpose.

Where are we?

We are spread across half the globe. We live in Poland, Germany, Great Britain, Canada and Israel. The headquarters of our Foundation are in Dzierżoniów / Reichenbach in Poland, five minutes from the old synagogue we have dedicated our energy and cooperation to.

What is our Mission?  (more…)

The synagogue of Dzierżoniów / Reichenbach represents an important piece of Jewish – German – Polish religi­ous and cultural history that appears totally unknown outside this city and its surrounding area. Our Beiteinu Chaj – 2004 Foundation has begun with its work of rescue of this historic building and with raising public awareness of its past Jewish history in Germany, Poland and other countries.

Where are we now with our work?  (more…)

In the category Activities you can read about the current restoration work, about events such as workshops and exhibitions that are already taking place in the old synagogue.

What do we envision for the future?

A Jewish house of worship consecrated 134 years ago, brought back to life and restored to its former beauty through the efforts of the Beiteinu Chaj – 2004 Foundation with the support of friends and donors, public and private, in many parts of the world.  The synagogue will be the home and house of worship for the small local Jewish community, a museum for visits by tourists from the entire world, and a meeting place for the community to retain and learn about the history of Dzierżoniów / Reichenbach and of the Jewish life , past and present, in Reichenbach and in Dzierżoniów.

The synagogue is envisioned as an international meeting, research and education centre, especially for the  young generation that hopes to to create a better world with a wider perspective and a deeper understanding of the past mistakes.

Please proceed to the other sections of our website. For an overview, you will enjoy the copy of our brochure Our House Lives On – 2004, published in spring 2009 and included in this website.

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