The municipality is to fund the restoration of the synagogue in Baia Mare, Romania, which is still used by the city’s tiny Jewish community. According to a report in the local media the synagogue (located at Somesului str. 3) will then operate in partnership with the Federation of Romanian Jewish Communities — it will serve as as a cultural center for the town during most of the week, but will host Jewish religious services on Shabbat and Jewish holidays. The Jewish community numbers about 80 members.
“Our intention is to support the Jewish Community in Baia Mare through the rehabilitation of a place of worship which forms part of national heritage,” said Baia Mare Mayor Catalin Chereches. He said 25,000 lei ($6,700) will be allocated for for the first phase of the project and to “obtain the necessary approvals from the Ministry of Culture,” according to the report on emm.ro — a news site for the Maramures region of northwest Romania.
The Baia Mare Synagogue was built in the so-called “Transylvanian Neo-Baroque style” in 1886, and it formed part of a typical Jewish complex including a ritual bath, Jewish school and yeshiva, rabbi’s house, kosher butcher and meeting hall. It was included on the list of “Category B” ranked historical monuments in 2004, meaning that it holds local historical importance.
Ioan Marchis, Director of the Department for Culture of Maramures was quoted by emm.ro as saying that the synagogue was important as one of the increasingly rare neo-baroque monuments in Transylvania. Also, he said, “it is important not only because we have to keep memory of the Jews of Maramures, but because it is one of the few synagogues that is still functional.”