This Ukrainian City Was Once Home to a Vibrant Jewish Community. Now Its Grand Synagogue Is a Sports Hall

Amos Oz’s mother was one of thousands of Jews who fled the then-Polish city of Rivne in the 1930s and ’40s. A visit today finds a city erasing its storied Jewish past

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Go to comments
The former Grand Synagogue of Rivne, Western Ukraine. Converted into a sports hall during communist times.
The former Grand Synagogue of Rivne, Western Ukraine. Converted into a sports hall during communist times.Credit: Rosie Whitehouse
Rosie Whitehouse
Rosie Whitehouse
Rosie Whitehouse
Rosie Whitehouse

The train rattles westward from Kiev, past dense forests and spindly glades of trees dressed with mistletoe to Rivne – a city that challenges assumptions about Jewish history and memory.

While many other places in this part of the world can feel a little down-at-heel, this Ukrainian city four hours west of the capital has a Wild West vibe.

Comments