Kitaevskaya Synagogue

Synagogue Museums

Kitaevskaya synagogue was built in 1874. It is located in the historical center of Minsk – the Trinity Suburb. This prayer house belonged to the Koidanov Hasidim, but after specific events the building was transferred to the National Historical Museum of Belarus as an exhibition hall.

Image credit: The Together Plan – subject to copyright ©

Kitaevtsy is the local name for Hasidic Jews. This synagogue was the main prayer space for Jewish burghers (the term that was used to refer to middle-class Jews). The synagogue was built in 1874 as the main Jewish temple of the Minsk Hasidim, and got its name from the name of its builder and owner Borukh Kitaevsky. Since then, the synagogue has been the central place of prayer for the city's bourgeoisie. A heder and a kollel operated at the synagogue. After its closure in 1924, various Soviet institutions and offices were located here. During the war, it was partially destroyed, one of its walls was burnt. However, the traditional appearance of the synagogue building of the late 19th - early 20th centuries has been preserved. In the 1980s, the monument was reconstructed and adapted for the exhibition hall of the Museum of Nature and Ecology of Belarus (it is also known as the House of Nature), which is a branch of the National Historical Museum of the Republic of Belarus. Exhibitions of representatives of rare fauna from all over the world, which are especially popular with children, are regularly held here.