The Gleizer Synagogue

The Gleizer was the only functioning synagogue under the Soviets; its renovated interior is striking. I’m fascinated by the images on the ceiling, which is decorated with newly hand-painted signs of the zodiac that correspond to the months of the calendar year, and are called mazoles in Yiddish.

Inside the synagogue, we are invited to make a contribution to the charity box, Tzedakah. In donating, I realize slowly that while my roots trip is focused on the past–the dead, the victims, the lost culture–Jewish life goes on here, if diminished, and requires support from foreign visitors (like me) and agencies, not least from Chabad.

I wondered whether my grandparents had attended this synagogue–though there would have been others to choose from–but no archives were available. Every piece of potential but unavailable information makes the quest both more real and more tantalizing.

« Previous     Next »