Dnepropetrovsk (then called Yekatorinoslav) has a rich and complex Jewish history. In 1791, Catherine the Great issued a decree announcing the regions of Imperial Russia in which Jews were permitted to settle. Dnepropetrovsk (then Yekatorinoslav) was one of the few places outside of what became known as the Pale of Settlement where Jews were granted residency rights. Over time—until the early 20th century—the Jewish population of Yekaterinoslav increased in size and prominence. In 1897, over 36% of Yekatorinoslav’s inhabitants were Jewish, and approximately one fourth of the city’s enterprises were owned and run by Jews.
In 1920, there were 42 synagogues in Yekatorinoslav. However, by October 1, 1932, 36 of the 42 had been closed.
The Golden Rose Synagogue
The synagogue that is now known as “The Golden Rose” was built in the middle of the 19th century to replace a synagogue in the same location that had been destroyed by a fire in 1833. The Golden Rose was closed shortly after the 1917 revolution, and the building was repurposed as a workers’ club and warehouse. A large Union of Soviet Socialist Republics seal replaced the Star of David on the portico.
[More to come…]