103-year-old Argentina synagogue gets new look
The government spent the equivalent of $210,000 on repairing the previously dilapidated building.
The Brener Synagogue in Moisés Ville, Argentina Photo: Wikimedia Commons / GNU Free / FLLL
A synagogue in Moises Ville – a small town in the Argentine pampas established
by Jews at the end of the 19th century – was reopened on Thursday in a festive
Argentina’s President Christina Kirchner was said to be among
the 300 dignitaries who attended the event at the renewed Jewish house of
“The rehabilitation of the Brener Synagogue is the product of
three years of planning and works that were carried out with the great help of
the national authorities,” Osvaldo Angeleti, a local politician, was quoted as
saying by La Capital, a newspaper in Argentina.
The government spent the
equivalent of $210,000 on repairing the previously dilapidated
Pictures show the edifice has a new coat of paint, the broken
doors and windows have been fixed and a large Star of David above the entrance
that had faded has been repainted.
Moises Ville was founded and funded by
Baron Maurice Moshe Hirsch for Jews fleeing persecution in Eastern Europe. The
first arrivals appeared in 1889 and over the next couple of decades the village
built up a host of institutions catering to its predominantly Jewish
inhabitants, including a theater, schools and houses of worship.
Brener synagogue was built in 1909, and was the main synagogue in the community
for over 70 years.
As the 20th century progressed, the majority of the
original settlers and their descendants moved to cities like Santa Fe, Rosario
and Buenos Aires or became assimilated.
Few of the town’s 3,000 residents
today are Jewish, said Angeleti.
“We have four synagogues in Moises
Ville: one is closed, another is in regular use, another important one is
abandoned and this, the oldest, is now reopened,” the politician said. “Sadly,
the state it was in was a result of the notably diminished number of members of
the Jewish community, which are less than 10 percent of the
Besides providing local Jews with a second option to hold
their prayers, Angeleti hoped the renovated building would bring tourists to the
rural town located 616 kilometers northwest of the capital.
and Museum of Jewish Colonization will become an attraction for visitors,” he