The New York Times lens blog has highlighted the work of the American photographer Daniel Owen, publishing his evocative series of photos of Jewish life and heritage in Oradea (Nagyvarad), Romania, a town of stunning art nouveau architecture and rich Jewish history a few kilometers from the border of Hungary.
He presents portraits of individuals, community events and striking photos of the town’s synagogues (some showing restoration in progress) and Jewish cemetery
There are five surviving synagogues in Oradea, as well as three surviving Jewish cemeteries; numerous buildings that were Jewish communal properties, businesses, mansions, etc.
The Tikvah non-profit organization is dedicated to education about Oradea’s Jewish history and monuments, and the Holocaust. Its slogan is “Oradea united in diversity: A Jewish voice.” One of its projects is the promotion of a Jewish Museum to be located in the Teleki synagogue, which was long used as a vegetable warehouse.
We have posted about plans to renovate and restore Oradea’s grandiose Zion Synagogue as part of a 1.4 million Euro EU-funded cross-border project.
In many ways, Owen’s pictures from Oradea are very reminiscent of those taken back in the 1970s — a very different time period, indeed! — by Laurence Salzmann in the town of Radauti, Romania. These were exhibited and published as his book The Last Jews of Radauti,