Stories of the Synagogues - a digital journey through the synagogues of Romania's Banat and Crișana regions
Stories of the Synagogue brings the splendor of eight synagogues from Reșița, Caransebeș, Lugoj, Timișoara, and Arad to the attention of the general public, as well as life stories told by members of the Jewish communities in Romania.
The organizers have set out to design a digital route for the synagogues of Banat and Crișana regions that will systematize the dispersed information and provide an overview of this heritage, presenting the content in a way that is accessible to the widest possible audience. Thus, the bilingual digital platform includes a multitude of resources, such as digital tours of the eight synagogues, articles, interviews, testimonies, videos, and unpublished photographs.
The launch is scheduled for Thursday, October 6. The event is also an opportunity to discuss at length the future of the project and the opportunities it generates, and will be attended by some of the presidents of the Banat and Arad Jewish communities, who have given interviews for the platform.
The project was carried out by the Pantograf Association, with the support of the Romanian Order of Architects and co-funding from the National Cultural Fund Administration.
Each synagogue included in the project has a dedicated section where visitors to the platform can find out its story through a short history, a description of the elements of architectural value that make it unique, virtual tours of the synagogue, photos and videos.
All this is accompanied by excerpts of testimonies from members of the Jewish communities around these synagogues, gathered by the team of anthropologists coordinated by Smaranda Vultur and Getta Neumann, as well as interviews with the presidents of the Jewish communities in 5 cities.
"Like the stories shared by our grandparents about people, places, and events, Stories of the Synagogues lead us into a world where, through glimpses of personal histories and images that intrigue and fascinate us, a part of our shared history is revealed, which we want to preserve for future generations", says Raluca-Elena Doroftei, co-initiator, and coordinator of the project.
The aim of the initiative is to raise awareness among the communities and authorities of the localities in Banat and Arad, where there are synagogues, of their architectural value, of the recent memory of Jewish communities and their life today in order to safeguard the built heritage and stimulate thematic cultural tourism.
The bilingual digital platform Stories of the Synagogues is a first step towards linking the route of the synagogues of Banat and Crișana to the European Jewish heritage routes recognized by the Council of Europe and managed by the European Association for the Preservation and Promotion of Jewish Culture and Heritage.
(Photo source: Pantograf Association)