For the first time since World War II, Estonia will open a new synagogue in the capital of Tallinn. The synagogue is slated to open soon so Estonian Jews will be able celebrate Hanukkah in the new house of prayer. Estonia is the only country in Europe where there is a Jewish community and synagogue does not exist.
The only synagogue in the country was built in 1882 in the city of Tartu and bombed by the Nazis in 1944. Since then there has been no place of worship for Estonia’s 3,000 Jews.
The construction of the $2 million, 200-seat synagogue started in 2005 in central Tallinn, the Estonian capital. The prime minister and finance minister of Estonia donated from their personal bank accounts for the building of the synagogue. The complex will include a museum and kosher restaurant.
“This is really exciting for us, from our point of view this is like completing the circle,” said Estonian Chief Rabbi Samuel Kot.