Zaltzman Synagogue

Synagogue Jewish Quarters

Zaltsman synagogue was built in 1864, when the population of Minsk consisted of more than 40% Jews. Numerous synagogues in the city were divided according to religious trends or even according to the professional affiliation of the community. This prayer house was built on the territory of the Rakovsky suburb for the poor.

Image credit: The Together Plan – subject to copyright ©

In 1864 the merchant and patron Zaltsman built this synagogue for his poor fellow compatriots in the Rakovsky suburb of Minsk (24 Rakovsky Street). The Zaltsman Synagogue is the oldest building in the Rakovskiy suburb; before the October Revolution of 1917, there was a religious school - heder. The synagogue and heder were closed in 1921. However, after several years, the building was reconstructed and a second floor was added. In 1925, it housed one of the first Soviet cinemas in Minsk. During the Occupation, the building was used for offices by German commandants and as the location for staff rooms and a cinema for the ghetto guards. Afterwards, from 1944 to 1961, the building housed the Belarus cinema, then became the House of the Pioneers. Now it is the Specialised Children and Youth School of Chess and Checkers.