A world center for Jewish People
Reflector from the Synagogue in Gąbin, Poland c. 1929
Unit ID# 32395
The wooden Synagogue was built in the early 18th century with two Baroque style towers in the front. The interior was also designed in the Baroque style. The Ark of the Law has three layers decorated with Jewish motifs. The Bimah is in the shape of a canopy. The Synagogue was burnt down by the Nazis in 1939.
Photo: S, Zajczyk
Beth Hatefutsoth Photo Archive (bequest of Leah Sandel, Israel)
Reflections from the Gombin Synagogue
When Ada Holtzman posted a photo of a reflector from the Gombin Synagogue on the Gombin-list, asking about its purpose, my curiosity would not rest, so I spent some time researching. I discovered that reflectors were used to enhance candlelight and allow for the possibility of evening prayer. This lovely description of the Gombin Synagogue comes from Gedaliah Shaiak’s book, Force and Defiance:
"The synagogue was constructed in a Baroque style, with wings on the upper floor and two onion-shaped towers. The building had two entrances. Broad windows faced the street front. When the lights in the synagogue were turned on for Sabbath or holidays, the copper reflectors and chandeliers threw back beams of light, illuminating the darkness outside." (pp. 162-63)
For me, this description profoundly enlivened the image of our synagogue — the beautiful sepia toned photo that is so often used as the hallmark of our organization. Suddenly, I could imagine the building as it must have been at night shining in the darkness as a beacon of faith, community and belief.
Shaiak, Gedaliah. Force and defiance / [Gedaliah Shaiak] York Press, Abbotsford [Vic.] : 1982
Back to the Gombin Synagogue Web Page
Back to Gombin Memorial Web Page
Last updated March 6th, 2011