There were a number of synagogues and prayer
houses in Przemysl, including:
- Alte (Old) Synagogue,
located on Walowa street
- Tempel, located on Jagiellonska, on
the river San
Synagogue, on Slowackiego street
- Zasanie Synagogue, located on Grunwaldzka
street in Zasanie
- Klaus, located on Berkowicza, by Plac Berka Joselewicza
The "Alte" synagogue opened in 1594, replacing the existing
wooden structure. The building was designed by BONONI, an Italian builder
of fortifications. Damaged in 1939, when the Germans were retreating from
the right bank of the San river, it was further destroyed in 1941. The
Alte synagogue was what we would now consider an Orthodox synagogue.
"Tempel" was a reform (progressive) synagogue, established in
1890. According to "Gazeta Przemyska", September 18,
1890, during the opening ceremony the Temple was "filled with the
public and the invited guests, including the starosta, Mr. Gorecki
[... and] Mayor of the City, Dr. A. Dworski, as well as several councilmen
as representatives of the local community. The service started with a
harmonium [type of organ] rendition of a preludium, followed by the cantor's
recitation of the welcoming blessing from Psalm 118, verses 26 and 27.
The introductory prayer "How beautiful are your tents" ["Ma
Tovu"] was then sung by the cantor, accompanied by the choir. After
a communal prayer, Dr. J. BAUMFELD, the president of the Israelite [Jewish]
community, gave a speach on "A stone which the builders rejected
has become the corner stone (Psalm 118, verse 22). The ceremony of lighting
of the "eternal light' was conducted by the chairman of the association,
Mr. L. SCHWARZTHAL, and the chairman of the building committee, Mr. Ch.
WOLF, assisted by board members and functionaries, Mr. J. BAUMGARTEN and
A. MANELS. The ceremony ended with the singing of Psalm 30 (Song at the
Dedication of the House of David), a Torah procession, a prayer for the
ruling house, homeland, and a folk hymn.
The interior of the temple, shaped as a rectangle, presents
itself very well, because its ornamental style, the frescos, the balustrade
of the women's gallery, the stucco work on the ceiling all come together
as a harmoneous whole, pleasant for the eye. The place where the Torah
is kept deserves special attention as it represents an oriental portico,
artistically made in the studio of Mr. MAJERSKI. Mr. MAJERSKI has also
sculpted the balustrade of the women's gallery and created the cassette
style stucco ceiling. The iron balustrade surrounding the elevation before
the Torah was produced by the locksmith studio of Mr. BORKOWSKI, the candlesticks
by the studio of Mr. GORNIAK, the concrete plates in two colors, which
cover the floor, were provided by a local factory of concrete products
of Mr. JANOCH and associates."
Translated by BUY. Thanks to Lukasz Biedka
for sending a copy of the original article.
Jack Fields remembers:
"This temple was situated on the corner of Serbanska
and Jagiellonska streets in Przemysl. 95% of the prayers in this temple
were recited in the Polish language. I visited this temple a few times
as a child. I found the service easy to follow. However, like in a Catholic
church, there was an organ, which for those times was very unusual. The
people who went to this temple were the Jewish professionals with liberal
beliefs. This was the first synagogue which was burned by the Nazis. I
saw it happen. When the Polish fire brigade arrived, the Nazis cut their
water hoses to ensure that the building was destroyed."
Scheinbach synagogue, located at J. Slowackiego street, is now a public
library. According to Survey of Historic Jewish Monuments in Poland
by Samuel Gruber and Phyllis Myers, revised second edition 1995, this
synagogue was constructed in 1910. However, the historical outline in
Monografia Miasta Przemysla by Leopold Hauser, reports that the
synagogue was opened in 1905.
The Zasanie synagogue, located on Grunwaldska Street in Zasanie
(on the eastern bank of the river San), opened in 1892. After War War
II, this building was used as the city bus station but is now empty. Efforts
are now under way to turn this large building into a center for the artists
of Przemysl. The plan is to house a permanent exhibit of photos and texts
of the history of the Jews of Przemysl and name the building for a famous
Przemysl Jewish artist. This project is underway due to the efforts of
Dr. John J. Hartman and the organization
which he has founded,
Remembrance and Reconciliation.
Presently, the only existing synagogue buildings are
Scheinbach and Zasanie synagogues.
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