The Cedrob S.A. company will cover the cost of renovating a former synagogue in Radzanów, with a culture centre planned to be opened at the site.

Radzanów is a village in the northern Mazovia region, in the Mława District, and is inhabited by 900 people. From the 18th century until World War II, Radzanów also had a Jewish community. Today the former synagogue building of 1904 is the reminder of the town's Jewish history. It is one of few surviving Polish synagogues built in the Moorish style.

After 1945, the abandoned synagogue was used as a fertiliser storage room, which caused serious damage to the building. In 1986-2001, following a renovation, the building was used as a library. Later, as part of the process of restitution of the property formerly owned by Jewish communities, the facility was taken over by the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland. Since that time, the building has been unused, falling into ruin.

Local social activists have advocated for saving the synagogue. In 2016, Radzanów school students and the Tekla Bądarzewska's Works Lovers' Association launched an initiative to rearrange the building into a culture centre. The issue attracted the interest of MP Anna Cicholska and Leszek Zygner, the president of the State Vocational Higher Education School in Ciechanów.

There is a chance that the efforts will be successful. On 20 November 2017, an agreement was signed between the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland and the food company Cedrob S.A. Under the contract, the company agreed to cover the costs of expert opinions, a conservation plan and construction blueprints for the former synagogue. In the future, the building is to house a culture centre which will be an important feature of the planned North Mazovia Jewish Trail.

"Cedrob gets involved in projects that support the development of local communities. The revitalisation of the synagogue and its rearrangement into a culture centre is an initiative that is in line with our priorities," said Włodzimierz Bartkowski, deputy CEO of Cedrob S.A.

The agreement was signed during a conference organised on the 75th anniversary of the liquidation of the Mława Ghetto and the extermination of the local Jewish community.

Krzysztof Bielawski

Source: Adamczyk U., Zabytkowa świątynia zostanie uratowana. Pomoże firma Cedrob [online] [Accessed on 22 Nov 2017], Cedrob sfinansuje remont zabytkowej synagogi [online],151873_1.html [Accessed on 22 Nov 2017].