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The Baltimore Sun

Exhibition on Europe's wooden synagogues planned for Jewish Museum

An exhibition on an all-but-forgotten era in Jewish worship, “Wooden Synagogues of Europe,” will open Sept. 13 at the Jewish Museum of Florida, 301 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. The 10 models are 1/40th scale replicas of synagogues built in Poland in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The models were built from research by Englishman Peter Maurice from 2003 to 2007. About 1,000 of the original buildings were built, with carved and painted interiors.

The synagogues served a Jewish community that lived 1,000 years in Polandm, fell victim to fires set by Nazis during World War II. Some wooden synagogues have been found in Poland and Lithuania, in deteriorated state.

Also included is a “Florida connection” showing the Polish roots of nearly 40 South Florida families. The museum’s curatorial staff received materials from the families, then found their source in more than 30 towns in Poland. About 80 percent of American Jewry traces roots to Poland.

“Wooden Synagogues of Europe” will be at the museum through March 18. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Mondays and civil and Jewish holidays.

Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $12 for families, free for children. It's also free for everyone on Saturdays. Visit or call 305-672-5044.

James D. Davis

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