On Thursday, His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, opened the photography exhibition entitled Temples and Synagogues in Romania: Jewish, national and universal heritage, organized at the Europa Christiana Hall of the Palace of the Patriarchate.
The exhibition includes twenty-five photography roll-up banners depicting temples and synagogues in Romania with additional data about their historical attestation and architecture. This project was organized by the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania (FCER) and has the support of the Romanian Patriarchate and the State Secretariat for Religious Affairs.
The attendees included Mr. Sergiu Nistor, presidential counsellor and delegate of President Klaus Iohannis, Mr. Aurel Vainer, chairman of the Jewish Federation, Mr. Victor Opaschi, State Secretary for Religious Affairs, and first Rabi Rafael Shaffer.
His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel addressed those present referring to the initial idea of organizing the photo exhibition.
Last year, the Ambassador of Israel to Romania told us about her intention to organize at the Patriarchate an exhibition with Orthodox churches in the Holy Land. Such an exhibition has already been organized in Bulgaria.
In this context, Mr. Vainer suggested to organize an additional exhibition with synagogues in Romania, before setting up the exhibition of Orthodox churches in the Holy Land, for a better mutual knowledge, to know better what a synagogue represents, and to present the diversity and beauty of the synagogues in Romania, Patriarch Daniel noted.
The patriarch pointed to the communion expressed by the places of worship, through their symbolism of the religious communities.
It is noteworthy that as the church is a place of worship for the use of Christian communities, the synagogue is a symbol of life, activity, spirituality and culture of the Jewish communities. In Greek, the term symbol means bringing together. Therefore, the symbol has the functionality of creating communion, closeness among people, friendship, coexistence and cooperation.
The patriarch also noted that this event takes place given the increasing number of Romanian pilgrims in the Holy Land.
From 3,500 Romanian pilgrims in 2013, 10,000 Romanians visited the Holy Land in 2017 using the services of the Basilica Travel Agency of the Romanian Patriarchate.
The patriarch recalled that the architecture of some synagogues in Romania contains traditional Romanian motives, while several churches have architectural elements from the Jewish Biblical tradition.
Jewish Federation Chairman Aurel Vainer pointed to the historical and cultural significance of the 86 synagogues preserved in Romania over time. He also appreciated the good collaboration with the Romanian Orthodox Church and with other religious denominations in Romania.
Following the photography exhibition opening ceremony, all those present attended the Symposium entitled Temples and Synagogues in Romania: The synagogue as a place of prayer, a place of teaching and a place of gathering, held at the Aula Magna of the Patriarchal Palace.
The exhibition is open to the public until Friday, November 24.
Foto credit: Robert Nicolae / Basilica.ro