Friends of Jewish Heritage in Poland is working with The Chesed Fund and FODŻ and the town of Orla to raise funds for the restoration of The Great Orla Synagogue.
Every brick, every wall, every inch of The Great Orla Synagogue resonates with the echoes of a resilient history. A history that endured the ravages of progoms, wars, fires, and even occupation. Now, we stand on the brink of losing this priceless gem of Jewish heritage forever. But together, we can rewrite its story.
Imagine a structure that witnessed the unthinkable – the Great Fire of 1938 and the unforgiving hands of time. The Great Orla Synagogue stands testament to resilience, emerging not as a relic, but as a beacon of hope. Despite no survivors returning, the grandeur of Judaism still adorns its walls. How? This synagogue morphed into more than just a building; it became a living, breathing symbol of Jewish culture, a museum, a center for education, and a hub for cultural events. Orla isn't just another place on the map; it's a sacred ground where Mayor Marek Chmielewski and the community have woven history into the very fabric of life. The saga of Jewish culture, the Holocaust, and the rich tapestry of Orla's past is now intricately woven into local school curricula. Annual events celebrating the spirit of unity and days of remembrance are used to mark the calendar. But alas, the synagogue's closure has silenced these vibrant echoes. Mayor Marek Chmielewski, fueled by his passion, ventured to Haifa to film a documentary with a former resident of Orla.
Orla isn't just a physical structure; it's an embodiment of heritage, a legacy left behind by our ancestors. The Light Family's roots trace back to those who fought for the Great Orla Synagogue's rightful place, even reclaiming it from a fertilizer warehouse. The exquisite friezes that still linger today inspired the colors of our family tree, stretching across oceans and generations.
Your donation is an investment in history, in the resurgence of a cultural epicenter. An official engineering report, meticulously itemized, charts the path to resurrection. Each repair, each restoration, brings us closer to reopening the doors of The Great Orla Synagogue.
The following repairs are of critical necessity in order to allow safe use of the building:
1. Repair the bases of the supporting pillars with solid, red brick and cement-lime mortar; 2. Repair the hole in the roof; 3. Repair the vertical and diagonal wall stratifications of the structural walls. Work to be done from the inside and outside to the depth of one brick; 4. Brick up the opening at the wall joint; 5. Remove all loose remnants of plaster and brick surface; 6. Fix a protective net over the entire surface of the Main Hall.
But our mission extends beyond the physical – excess funds will fund additional repairs and educational initiatives. Our mission bridges borders, transcending time, and connecting hearts. The tale of The Great Orla Synagogue is not confined to Orla; it's a narrative etched into humanity's collective story. Your contribution isn't just a donation; it's a declaration of commitment to preserving history, culture, and the future.
Your support is the key to reopening those doors, to letting generations once again breathe life into those hallowed halls. Let's honor the past, empower the present, and inspire the future. Together, we can ensure that The Great Orla Synagogue stands strong, a testament to resilience, a beacon of unity. Your donation matters. Every dollar brings us one step closer to resurrecting a masterpiece of heritage. Your generosity will be directed as intended, building upon a grant from the Polish government to support this work. Please review the presentation prepared by Orla Mayor Marek Chmielewski describing the project in further detail.
This fund-raising effort is led by David, Taylor, and Philip Light.
Please click on the "Donate" button at the top of this page to make your donation by credit card. To learn more about how donations are handled or to send a check by regular mail, please clickhere.