Jewish District sightseeing

Off-the-beaten-track, Old Beyth Hornidrash Synagogue, is also known as Synagogue from Saint George, due to nearby Saint George neighbourhood.
Restored in 1947, the synagogue received a much simpler facade.
After the restoration from 1955, Jewish community used it for service until 1978 when it became a warehouse.
You can still locate it on 78 Calea Mosilor.
It lies between the bookshop and car service, on the Southern side of the street, just off the small square with the tramway junction.

A little further NE from the synagogue, along Calea Mosilor, a Bulgarian merchant raised in 1867 Hristo Georgiev House.
Right after it, there is the former Jewish Inn with arched patterns above windows.
Its ground floor hosts a naturist shop with a purple facade, a mountaineering gear shop, a florist and a double pane glasses shop.
Raised in the 19th century by jeweler Haim Ioines, this burnt down during the fire that desolated Bucharest on an Easter Sunday in the same century.

The highlights include:
* Choral Temple – Sf. Vineri Street, the best known monument of Jewish heritage in Bucharest.
* State Jewish Theater – Strehaia Street
* Holy Union Synagogue – museum within and fine cluster of old houses, Mamulari Street
* Great Synagogue – museum within, Olteni Street

State Jewish Theater

The first Jewish theater worldwide was founded in Iasi in 1876 by Avram Goldfaden.

Mihai Eminescu, the foremost Romanian poet, signed one of the first chronicles to his stage plays, appreciating the performance as “very good”.

Towards the end of the 19th century, Doctor Iuliu Barasch built the theater in Bucharest.
Initially meant as a clinic, this became a  cultural house for the community.
During WW2 Jewish actors were not allowed to act in Yiddish nor in Romanian theaters.
So they founded Barascheum Theater was foundewhere they acted, in Romanian, mostly revue performances.
Like all private business in the country, the theater was nationalized in 1948, the building being restored in 1954-1955.
It is still interesting to attend one of their excellent performances, featuring Maia Morgenstern or Rudy Rosenfeld.
Performances held in Yiddish are translated in Romanian through earphones.
In the latest 25 years they had several international tours, organizing and hosting in 1991 and 1996 the international Festival of Yiddish Theater.
In 2003 they were the co-organizer and host of the first Festival of Yiddish Culture in Europe.

Holly Union Temple

Also known as Ahdut Kodesh, this is the former Tailors' Synagogue.

Bucharest’s Jewish Tailors’ Guild, a Lech (Polish) Jews Community raised it in the middle of the 19th century as worship place for local tailors’ craft union.
Steel columns sustain the structure and alternative layers of bricks and white plaster decorate the facade.
Whole composition gathers Moorish, Romanesque and Byzantine elements, with obvious influences from religious and laic Wallachian architecture.
It functioned as place of worship until 1968.

Romanian Jews History Museum

In 1978 it became the Romanian Jewish History Museum at the initiative of Chief Rabbi Dr. Moses Rosen.
Back then, this was Chief Rabbi of Jewish community in Romania.
Moses Rosen was the only rabbi in the world member of a National Great Assembly of a socialist country.
He was 46 years in charge ? until 1994 ?
A visit here teaches you about:
* history of Jewish communities in Romania,
* its origins and growth,
* contribution and influence to Romanian culture, economy and political life.
The name has several variants, including History Museum of Romanian Jewish Community.
It presents Jews history on Romanian territory since 2nd century until nowadays.
It contains:
* religious objects,
* paintings by Jewish painters,
* replicas of synagogues in the country,
* collections representative for Romanian Jewish history,
* items representative for Romanian Jews creation and culture,
* Yiddish theater history.

Exhibits proof of the once large Jewish community existence, as well as a memorial for the deportation and extermination years.
The museum broadly covers the Jews history in Romania.
Displays include an enormous collection of books written, published, illustrated or translated by Romanian Jews; a serious archive of Romania history and collection of paintings of and by Romanian Jews.
Interested in studying Jewish community even further ?
You can go to Jewish History Institute nearby.
Currently under repair the museum is temporarily located within Holocaust Museum, at Great Synagogue.

Great Synagogue

The inscription in Hebrew on the building reads: My home is a home of pray and requests for all religions.

It is the same inscription as that on Choral Temple.
This temporarily hosts Jewish History Museum reorganized in September 2018 when it reopened for tourists.
Founded in 1850 by a community of Polish (Lech) Jews, the synagogue was first restored in 1865 and adapted to electric lighting in 1915.
Over years, it suffered multiple changes and restorations.
Repaired in 1865, redesigned in 1903 and rebuilt in 1908 (as stated on the building), it was repainted in Rococo style in 1936 by Ghershon Horowitz (coming from a painters’ family of Focsani).
It survived both World War II and Nicolae Ceausescu unscathed.

Extreme right Legionaries devastated it.
Restored again in 1945, this is one of the largest synagogues in the country and possibly the one with the most beautiful interior.
For all these, in 2004, Romanian Academy included it on the list of historical monuments, thus probably saving it from demolition of most of the surrounding area in the late ’80s.
In order to hide it from public sight, communist svirtually fenced off the synagogue with concrete buildings.

Holocaust Museum

Ever since 1992 it has been hosting the exhibition Memorial of Jewish Martyrs “Chief Rabbi Dr. Mozes Rosen”.

Old Bucharest Jewish neighbourhood

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Happy tours !

Warm regards,
Kryss