I was pleased to see the report on the re-dedication of the Plzen Synagogue and am happy to enclose a photograph taken on the occasion which shows the restored facade. It might form a useful contrast to the one published on page 13 of the JHR, I:3-4. I can add to the article that a few services were held in the large synagogue immediately after the war, the first ones being High Holyday services conducted by chaplains of the American forces. It was sad to find a whole pile of their small combat prayer books on one of the seats in the synagogue. The community itself continued to use the winter synagogue at the back of the main synagogue and intends to use it in future. It has been magnificently restored. At present there is a superb exhibition in this synagogue telling the history of the building and its restoration.
For the last twenty years the community has used a prayer room at the rear of their community building in nearby Smetany Sady. In the courtyard, the original synagogue of the community stands, built in 1857-59. Next to that stands a similar building built in 1875, referred to as the school house. It looks very much like a synagogue. Both seem to have been in use up to 1892 when the community moved to their large synagogue across the road. The older buildings are also being renovated and they also plan to use them as concert halls and for art exhibitions.
Rabbi Andrew Goldstein, London
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Updated: January 4, 2003