On August 26, 2021, Ruth Ellen Gruber of the Foundation Jewish Heritage Europe and Johannes Reiss, the director of the Austrian Jewish Museum, in Eisenstadt, Austria, visited Kőszeg. Prof. Gruber has been dealing with tangible Jewish cultural heritage in Europe for several decades, she has also published on the history of Hungarian synagogues. Members of the Institute of Advanced Studies Kőszeg (iASK) guided the guests at the construction site of the synagogue of Kőszeg. The reconstruction will be completed in a few months, the guests appreciated the by now well visible results of the work and iASK’s role in implementing this project. We also informed our guests about the activities of the iASK’s Research Group on the History of Jews and discussed the possible ways and means of cooperation between the Foundation, the Museum, and iASK.
Following years of false starts and failed announcements, restoration is well underway on the long-derelict 19th-century synagogue in Kőszeg, Hungary — plans for which we detailed October 2020. The synagogue, which is owned by the state, will become a cultural centre but also will be able to be used for religious services.
Traveling with Johannes Reiss, the director of the Austrian Jewish Museum, in Eisenstadt, Austria, JHE’s Ruth Ellen Gruber visited the synagogue site in late August.
Work on the exterior of the building, including plastering over the exposed brick structure, is complete, and the interior is filled with scaffolding.
Work began last fall, and the first phase is expected to be completed this year, with full restoration to be completed in 2022. The project foresees the restoration of the entire synagogue complex, including the Rabbi’s house, courtyard, garden, and fence.