3 July 2022

Synagogue opened in Balti

Today, on July 3, a synagogue was opened in Balti after a major overhaul and restoration.

Today is a rare day when in Moldova, not in the capital, we open a synagogue. It is literally the second time in a long time that I am present at the opening of a synagogue outside of Chisinau. By this we show that there is a community in Balti, there is a spiritual life in Balti, and there is a need for Jews to have a place and an opportunity to pray, gather and come to the Almighty. I want to say thank you, first of all, to the Chairman of the Jewish Community of Balti, Mr. Golberg, for what you are doing. It is thanks to your energy that Jewish life in Balti has received a second wind and a lot is being realized. I hope that the opening of the synagogue after the renovation will give new opportunities and new impulses to the Jewish life in the city of Balti,” said Alexander Bilinkis, President of the Jewish Community of Moldova, in his speech.

The opening ceremony of the synagogue was attended by the Chairman of the Jewish Community of Moldova Alexander Bilinkis, the Chairman of the Jewish Community of Balti Isaac Golberg, Mayor mun. Balti Nikolai Grigorishin, rabbis, members of the Board of Trustees, members of the Jewish Community, guests and friends.

Today we are celebrating the 35th anniversary of the founding of the synagogue in Balti, the city about which one of the most famous songs in Yiddish, Main Shtetele Balti (My Town of Balti), was written. It was written in 1932 in New York. Her first performer is Iza Kremer, who was originally from Balti. Today, thanks to the efforts of the republican and city Jewish Community, spiritual life is being revived. For all of us, today’s opening of the synagogue after its repair and improvement is a very important event,” said Alena Grossu, director of the Jewish Community of the Republic of Moldova, in her opening speech.

There have long been many synagogues and prayer houses in Balti, including those founded by the first Jews in the city at the end of the 18th century. The most dominant religious trend in the Balti community in the 19th century was Hasidism. There were several Hasidic courts in the city. By 1930, 14 thousand Jews lived in Balti, which accounted for 60% of the population. There were more than 30 synagogues in the city.

Thanks to the inner spirit that our rabbis, members of the Jewish community, leaders and, most importantly, trustees, create, we are reviving the spiritual life. It’s no secret that the Jewish Community of Moldova exists only on the donations of trustees. Balti has always been and is a multinational city, and we have always been tolerant towards all religions. I am sure that the Jewish Community in Balti will continue its development. The doors of the synagogue are open to everyone,” said the Chairman of the Jewish Community of Balti, Isaac Golberg.

Mayor mun. Balti Nikolai Grigorishin in his speech thanked the Chairman of the Jewish Community of the Republic of Moldova Alexandru Bilinkis and the Chairman of the Jewish Community of Balti Isaac Golberg and said with confidence that “the community of Balti has a good future with such leaders”

To the applause of the guests, Isaac Golberg and Nikolay Grigorishin cut the symbolic ribbon and opened the synagogue in Balti. This ended the secular opening ceremony, but in order for the holy place to really become holy, it was necessary to conduct a rite according to the precepts of the Torah: the sacred ritual of attaching a mezuzah.

This ritual was performed by the Chairman of the Jewish Community of Balti, Isaac Golberg, and the Rabbi of the Jewish Community of the Republic of Moldova, Shimshon Daniel Izaakson.

Raspitina Polina Grigoryevna, director of the Hesed Yakov Charitable Jewish Center, member of the Council of the Jewish Community of Balti, said: “Today is a very significant day for the Jewish Community of Balti. 35 years – a lot or a little is difficult to judge, but they are. This means that the Jewish Community has already existed for these 35 years, although its roots go back to the distant past. What is a synagogue? If you make a direct translation into Russian – the synagogue makes sense “to communicate together.” Communication today is more important than ever, because we live in a world of gadgets, TV and isolation. Each person should have a place where he can come to communicate. Communicate with the Almighty, with friends, with your family and, most importantly, communicate in your circle of like-minded people and fellow believers. I am pleased that people will come here, and I urge everyone to remember that this is a very important event for the city. For each of us, this is a very important event. We must remember that a person lives where he believes in something, when he has friends.

We want the synagogue hall to be always full, people to live in peace and prosperity, and to have a good hour. Mazal Tov!