Jewish Heritage Report
Vol. II, Nos. 1-2 / Spring-Summer 1998
Georgian Theater Group

Georgian Theater Group Won’t Return Synagogue to Jews

Rabbi Ariel Levine, Chief Rabbi of Georgia has been forced to request Georgian President Shevardnadze’s help in the reclamation of a synagogue.  The synagogue was slated to be returned to the Jewish community, but Tbilisi Mayor B. Shashitashvili canceled the order in June of 1995.  According to Jewish sources, the  theater troop currently occupying the building has been actively instigating a campaign of misinformation—arguing that that building never belonged to the Jewish community.  In December, 1997, President Shevardnadze ordered the Mayor to relocate the theater troop.  In February of 1998, the Jewish community reminded Mayor Shashitashvili of his obligation, but they have received no response.  As a result, on March 12, 1998, the Jewish community turned again to the President, in the hopes that Presidential intervention will return the synagogue to the Jewish community.

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Updated: 1-7-99