Almost in the shadow of the Nidaros Cathedral, about 100m away, sits the Trondheim Shul, which is painted blue but it is really quite difficult to find and almost impossible to photograph from the outside, being almost entirely hidden from the road. We had an appointment to meet with the Curator, Lise Rebekah Paltiel. At present one has to book well in advance to see the Shul and museum, unless it is during the period 15th June-15th of August. You should contact the Curator, Lise by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or +47 91573401.
Lise took us into this gem of a Shul and gave us a most interesting talk on the origins of the Community which at present numbers no more than 160 members. They have three Torahs and try to hold a Shabbat evening service every second week and they get together for High Holidays, but as they have neither a Chasan nor a Rabbi, it is difficult and more learned members of the congregation take the Services. The only Kosher kitchen in the town is the one in the Shul. The Shul interior and the buildings are in very good condition. In its heydays, it accommodated several hundred congregants.
It is a long time since last a wedding took place here. However there have been Barmitzvahs in recent years, including Lise’s brothers. Lise told us a bit about the history of the community which opened its first Synagogue in 1899, and the present Shul itself dates from 1925. Her grandfather was one of the earliest members.
The membership of the community peaked just before WWII. However during 1941, the Jews who had not managed to escape were rounded up and sent to Auschwitz. Of the 150 arrested in Trondheim, only 4 would survive, including Lisa’s father who was only 15 years old in 1941.
Both her father and grandfather are portrayed among the Presidents of the Shul.
In the foyer, behind glass is an exhibit of a Shabbat table set out in all its finery, complete with candles and challah – it could have stood like that in the home of any one of our grandparents! Also on display is a very old cupboard which was found in a home nearby not long ago and had belonged to the Shul before the War when it was occupied by the Nazis. In fact it is the original Ark of the first Shul and had held the Torahs. Lise took great pride showing us around and explaining the treasures on display and the photograph gallery that she has assembled. We were deeply moved by what we experienced and admire Lise very much for her dedication.
We actually visited this Shul in July 2012 but I was unable to post my comments until now.
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