On Thursday, April 8, a new symbolic Jewish synagogue will be dedicated at the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center – the first such building erected on the site of the Nazi massacre during the Holocaust. The prayer space, designed by renowned international architect Manuel Herz, will be dedicated by Ukraine & Kyiv Chief Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich, with the virtual participation of leading rabbis and Jewish world leaders. Among the virtual participants will be Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Lau, Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi of Israel, and Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Holocaust survivor, former Chief Rabbi of Israel, and currently Chair of Yad Vashem.
On September 29 and 30, 1941 – almost 80 years ago – 33,771 Jewish victims were murdered at the Babyn Yar ravine by the Nazis. Tens of thousands of Ukrainians, Roma, mentally ill, and others were shot at Babyn Yar throughout the Nazi occupation of Kyiv. The estimated number of victims murdered at Babyn Yar is approximately 100,000, making it Europe’s largest mass grave.
The unveiling of the symbolic synagogue will be an important component of BYHMC’s commemorations of this year’s 80th anniversary of the Babyn Yar massacre, which will culminate in an international event including global leaders in September.