Bulgarian government grants EU funds to turn Vidin Synagogue into cultural centre
Vidin mayor Ognyan Tsenkov has expressed thanks after Bulgaria’s government agreed to further support for the municipality for the project to restore and transform the Synagogue in the city into the Jules Pascin cultural centre, the municipality’s website said on May 21.
Documentation posted on the municipality’s website from the Regional Development Ministry shows the sum to be about 8.2 million leva.
Tsenkov also expressed special thanks to the regional organisation of the Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria “Shalom”, to Rosa Marinova, Streya Puncheva, Sheli Vladeva and the national leadership of Shalom, including president Associate Professor Alexander Oscar, Yosif Melamed and Maxim Benvenisti, for the organisation donating the Synagogue to the municipality.
In November 2017, Tsenkov and Marinova signed the final donation contract transferring the 19th century Vidin Synagogue from ownership of the organisation to the municipality.
Shalom took the decision to donate the Synagogue to the municipality in March 2017.
Built in 1894 in the neo-Gothic architectural style, the Synagogue in Vidin was the second-largest Jewish house of worship in Bulgaria. It was confiscated by the communist regime in Bulgaria after World War 2.
After the Second World War, many Bulgarian Jews moved from the country to Israel, with the coming of the communist regime and the founding of the State of Israel. The Vidin Synagogue ceased to function as a house of prayer in 1950.