Aug 24, 2010
$4 Million Shul Recovered

A magnificent synagogue in Hungary, estimated at $4 million and until recently used as a TV studio, was purchased back by George Rohr.

By COLive reporter

The Óbuda Synagogue in Hungary, one of the finest Jewish worship houses in Europe during its time, has returned to Jewish hands thanks to Chabad-Lubavitch.

The synagogue was designed by architect Andreas Landesherr in French Empire style, who greatly enlarged and embellished the original 1731 shul building, altering the appearance beyond recognition.

Obuda, today a neighborhood of Budapest, was at the time home to the largest Jewish community in the country.

In 1831, following the death of Rabbi Moshe Munz, the congregation left orthodoxy to follow reformist "Neolog Judaism" and later supported Hungarian nationalism by having sermons delivered every other week in Hungarian.

The community shrank throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries as members moved into the flourishing city of Pest.

In the 1970s, the by then greatly diminished Jewish community sold the building to the state for use as a television studio, although they did not make changes to its exterior facade.

In recent years, Hungarian-born Chabad Rabbi Shlomo Koves has worked on a deal to purchase the historic building.

New York philanthropist George Rohr has contributed an undisclosed sum through his confidant Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, Vice Chairman of Merkos L'inyonei Chinuch.

The shul's monetary value is estimated at $4 million.

Koves, leader of the EMIH Jewish Community and the director of the Open University for Judaic Studies in Budapest, has hired a company to renovate the interior.

"The building is 3 stories high with many rooms and halls," Koves told COLlive.com.

"What we are renovating now is the davening hall with a new marble floor, a massive chandelier, an Aron Kodesh, a social hall and the kitchen on the first floor."

He said he was aiming to have it ready for the upcoming Jewish High Holidays.

"The project is attracting a lot of interest from the Jewish and wider public. The Prime Minister is expected to attend the inauguration ceremony," he added.


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Opinions and Comments
1
amazing
kol hakavod!!!! keep it up
(8/24/2010 3:40:54 PM)
2
WOW!
Words cannot express how I feel.Thank you Mr. Rohr and family for everything.
(8/24/2010 3:56:18 PM)
3
beautiful!
(8/24/2010 4:43:26 PM)
4
chizuk
what a chizuk to the velt, kiddush hashem!
(8/24/2010 4:47:52 PM)
5
wow!
looks amazing!
(8/24/2010 5:03:12 PM)
6
azkir al hatzion
Amazing! Does the rebbe know about this?
(8/24/2010 5:43:35 PM)
7
wow!
That is beautiful!!!! I wonder if anyone has older relatives from that area who remembers this shul in use?
(8/24/2010 6:55:51 PM)
8
butiful!!
theee MOST BEAUTIFUL SHUL IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD!!!!!!
(8/24/2010 8:03:18 PM)
9
restoring
i hope they are restoring it to its old look and not making it too modern
(8/25/2010 4:07:40 AM)
10
to #6
what a smart question!
(8/25/2010 6:24:24 AM)
11
770
They should change the front to look like 770
(8/25/2010 7:07:09 AM)
12
We Have It In Crown Heights Too
Hard to believe Jews could sell such a building, but even here in Crown Heights we see magnificent edifices (Kingston Avenue and Park Place for example) that were built as synagogues and then later sold.
(8/25/2010 7:07:21 AM)
13
Uforatzto..
Obuda is out near the shopping centres, right? Great to have a shul in the suburbs where Jews who "make it" in Eastern Europe tend to build homes.
(8/25/2010 9:19:00 AM)
14
wher is it?
for those who were ther e we would like to know
(8/25/2010 11:47:38 AM)
15
restoring
i hope they give it a modern look, not restore to some old-fashioned shul
(8/25/2010 9:44:54 PM)
16
I think it is near the Kempinski and Auchan
I think Obuda is near the Kempinski hotel and Auchan which you get to from the Pest side of the city. If I am wrong then it is closer to the airport. In any case it is in a nice, almost suburban but also historical part of town.
(8/25/2010 10:30:42 PM)
17
Fellow shluchim
mazal tov on the building Rabbi Koves. may you use it in good health from strength to strength. thank you george rohr for your kind genorisity and continued support to chabad worldwide. God blesses those who helps others.
(8/25/2010 11:09:50 PM)
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