Really interesting article from the Travel Section of last Sunday’s NY Times on the rebirth of the historic city of Wroclaw, Poland, which is described as “one of Eastern Europe’s emerging hot spots, primed for cafe culture and a vibrant night-life scene.”
I was particularly interested to read about Wroclaw’s recently gentrified Jewish quarter:
In recent years, Wroclaw’s formerly neglected Old Jewish Quarter, with Wlodkowica street as its anchor, has become one of the city’s hippest neighborhoods, thanks largely to the work of Bente Kahan, a Jewish-Norwegian singer who serves as founding artistic director of the Jewish Cultural and Education center of the White Stork, the city’s only remaining synagogue.
The 19th-century White Stork was once the center of one of the largest Jewish communities in Germany. Since 2005, when Ms. Kahan assumed directorship and started a private foundation to finance community efforts, the White Stork has seen extensive renovations. On May 6 the synagogue will officially reopen to the public at a ceremony unveiling a permanent installation about the history of Jewish life in Wroclaw.
BTW: The White Stork Synagogue was the focus of a fascinating 2001 documentary, “From Kristallnacht to Crystal Day: A Synagogue in Wroclaw Glows Again.” The film documents “the re-emergence of Jewish life in today’s post-communist Wroclaw, making the synagogue not only an historical monument but also a center and springboard for the continuity of the community.”
Check out The White Stork pre-restoration, above. Below you’ll find a more recent pic of The Stork decked out in all her post-restoration glory.