Aus­tria’s old­est shul? It’s a garage

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY TOBY AX­EL­ROD

A GROUP of ac­tivists in the Aus­trian town of Korneuburg is try­ing to res­cue what is likely to be their coun­try’s old­est re­main­ing syn­a­gogue.

The 100 sq m stone build­ing, built in the 14th century and last used as a syn­a­gogue be­fore the pogroms in the 15th century, is cur­rently used as garage.

It was de­clared a land­mark in the late 1990s, ac­cord­ing to a 2008 re­port in the Aus­trian Stan­dard.

All that stands be­tween the lo­cal ac­tivists and their dream is about $150,000, (£87,000) said a new mem­ber of the group, Amer­i­can Jewish teacher Jeff Kell­ner, who lives with his wife in the town of some 12,000 resi- dents. The group has been try­ing for more than 25 years to se­cure enough cash to ren­o­vate the struc­ture and open it to the pub­lic.

Mr Kell­ner said the cur­rent owner of the property did not know about its his­tory when he bought it, and would be pre­pared to sell it.

The prob­lem is find­ing a buyer. Nei­ther the state nor Aus­tria’s Jewish com­mu­nity is in a po­si­tion to shell out the money, al­though they would gladly work with the lo­cal com­mit­tee if the property is se­cured.

Mr Kell­ner said that he had also asked for help from the New York­based World Mon

uments Fund.

Korneuburg’s 15th cen­tu­rysy­n­a­gogue

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