Kyiv’s historic Brodsky Central Synagogue, which serves as the main synagogue and the center of the Jewish community of the Ukrainian capital, marked the 125th anniversary of its opening on Sunday.
The event was attended by representatives of the local government alongside ambassadors, military officers, and senior government officials, along with hundreds of members of the Jewish community headed by Rabbi Moshe Asman, Chief Rabbi of Ukraine, who serves as the rabbi of the synagogue and leader of the community.
The house of worship began its life at the end of the 1890s, when Jewish industrialist and philanthropist Lazar Brodsky decided to build a synagogue. In the spring of 1897, Brodsky received confirmation of approval from the Senate of the Russian Empire.
The synagogue opened on August 24, 1898, on Brodsky’s 50th birthday. The festive opening ceremony was attended by the head of the district, the mayor of Kyiv and other important representatives of that time. But the community’s happiness was short-lived.
After the October Revolution in 1926, the synagogue was closed by order of the authorities and the building was used as a clubhouse.
In 1992, the President of Ukraine published a law mandating the return of religious buildings to the communities to which they once belonged. The Jewish community headed by the Ukraine Chief Rabbi Moshe Asman received the Brodsky Synagogue.
As Ukrainian Jewry marked the synagogue’s 125th anniversary Sunday evening, Rabbi Asman held a memorial service for those who died in the war and the soldiers who fell on the battlefield, delivering words of encouragement ahead of the upcoming High Holy Days.
The rabbi prayed together with the participants for an end to the harsh war that is still taking place in the country today.