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Jewish Riga Tour

By Editor. 28.07.2009

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Jewish Riga tour is tailored to give a wide historic insight of the Jewish community live in Riga.

1. The Jewish Community Center - Skolas iela 6

Once a Jewish theater before WWII, this hub of the Jewish community has several functions. Amongst these, it serves as a community center, operating social services for the needy. It also houses the Jewish History Documentation Center, led by historian Marģers Vestermanis, with the aim of education about the Holocaust in Latvia and elsewhere. The building also houses the Jewish History Museum (open Sun-Thurs, 12:00-17:00), which chronicles the history of Jewish life in Latvia since the 16th century.


2. The Peitav Schul Synagogue - Peitavas iela

The only remaining synagogue in Riga. Although currently undergoing renovations, the synagogue is still open for services. The caretaker there tells the story of how the building was saved from destruction during WWII. Apparently the minister at the nearby church (now the Reformation Church) told those in charge that the synagogue was also part of his church’s property, and as a result it was spared. Another version tells that it was spared due to its close proximity to surrounding buildings in the Old Town.


3. The former Jewish area and Riga Ghetto

A tour of Jewish Riga is not complete without a visit the Maskavas neighborhood (Maskavas Forštate), which was main Jewish community area until World War II, and also the site of the Jewish ghetto during the war. The Great Choral Synagogue was located on the corner of Gogoļa and Dzirnavu streets (C-3). In 1941 it was completely destroyed by the Nazis, after they locked 300 Jews in the basement and burned the building to the ground. Now, a memorial stands beside it, commemorating those, and in particular Jānis Lipke, who saved Latvian Jews during the Holocaust. The Bikur Holim Hospital, which dates back to 1924, is still functioning at Maskavas iela 122/128 . The intersection of Maskavas and Lačpleša streets  was the site of the 17th century “Jewish inn” (so-called because Jews were not allowed to stay in Riga permanently).


4. Café Lechaim - Skolas iela 6 (enter via Dzirnavu iela).

Open daily 10:00-22:00, this simple eatery with a name meaning “To Life” is the only kosher restaurant in town.There’s also a Jewish restaurant, at A.Briana street 10, open daily 12:00-23:00.


5. Holocaust memorial

At Biķernieki Forest on the outskirts of Riga, approximately 40,000 Jews from throughout Europe were murdered and are buried here. In 2001, a fitting memorial was erected.

Pauline Glass 08.09.2009 20:21

Is this trip available for my husband and I to join ? How much does it cost ?


temitope raji 16.09.2009 17:10

is this trip available for me to join and how much does it cost?



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