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The Old Synagogue

 
Background
 
The Old Synagogue The earliest evidence of the presence the presence of Jews in Częstochowa dates back to the 17th Century and is found in the reports of the royal inspections from the years 1620 and 1631.
 
A separate Jewish Religious Community was established in 1808, when the Calisian Department gave its permission to create the community in Old Częstochowa.
 
The exact date of the start of the construction of the Old Synagogue (Stara Synagoga) at ul Nadrzeczna 32 is unknown. The building was expanded in 1872 and then renovated in 1928-29.
 
It was ransacked by the Germans in September 1939, who then competely destroyed it during the liquidation of the Small Ghetto in 1943.

 

 
The Artist
 
Professor Perec Willenberg
 
At the instigation of Harav Reb Nachum Asz - Częstochowa's Chief Rabbi, Professor Perec Willenberg designed the new ornate interior for the renovation of the Old Synagogue which, sadly, only lasted a few years until the building was destroyed bythe Nazis.
 
Professor Willenberg, a graduate of the Fine Arts Academy, taught art and painting in the established Jewish schools, as well as in the artistic school that he founded.
 
He designed beautiful polychromes and stained glass windows for synagogues in Częstochowa, Piotrków Trybunalski and Opatów.
 
During the war, he hid in Warsaw under the name of Karol Baltazar Pękosławski. He died in 1947.
 
His son, Samuel Willenberg, a survivor of the Treblinka death camp uprising, is today a sculptor and noted artist in his own right. Samuel lives in Tel Aviv, Israel. Samuel Willenberg
 

 
Beauty Lost Forever
 
Like a latter day Michaelangelo,
Professor Perec Willenberg
lovingly works on the ceiling
of the Old Synagogue.
 
His paintings adorned
both the ceiling and the walls
of the Old Synagogue.
Professor Willenberg at Work
 
Interior Design An illustration by
Professor Perec Willenberg
of his design
for the interior
of the Old Synagogue.
  
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