The refurb is designed to better tell the story of Groningen’s Jewish community
Translated by Thomas Ansell
As reported by the GIC, the Groningen Synagogue, located on the Folkingestraat, will begin its re-building project on Thursday. The building’s unique architecture from 1906 will stay intact, but a number of internal improvements will be made, says the Stichting Oude Groninger Kerken, which owns the building.
One improvement will be a move towards ‘digital storytelling’, which will let visitors be immersed in Jewish rituals, festivals, and stories throughout the building. The new museum-style space will combine with the building’s use as a religious and cultural building, says the Stitchting.
The Mikve will also be restored: this is a rain-fed ritual cleaning bath located in the synagogue, traditionally (though much less in the modern world) used by women when menstruating, or the night before their wedding. The building originally had four such baths, but only two are now visible and will be restored.
A new exhibition hall that links the Mikve to the main hall will feature a huge glass case filled with important ritual objects testifying to the memory of Groningen’s once-large Jewish population. The building will also be re-painted, have new electricity connections, a disabled-access toilet; and a new entrance.
The building is scheduled to re-open in February.