The New Synagogue
The New Synagogue lies in Jingwei Street, Daoli district, bordering the city center. It is the second Jewish synagogue in Harbin and was established in addition to the main synagogue, known as the Old Synagogue.
"Built in 1918 and finished in 1921, the New Jewish Synagogue covers an area of more than 1,230 square meters and could accommodate as many as 800 worshipers. It is the largest in northeast China," explained Qu Wei, president of Heilongjiang Provincial Academy of Social Sciences.
However, the New Synagogue has not been used for worship since most Jewish people left the city in the 1950s. Re-opening in the 1990s, it was used as a club for the local Public Security Bureau. After renovation and reconstruction by the Harbin Municipal Government in 2004, the New Synagogue was transformed into a Jewish museum of history and culture, preserving and exhibiting Jewish artifacts.
The New Synagogue once played a significant role in Jewish religious, political and cultural life. Fleeing their homelands due to persecution and war, a large number of Jewish people settled in Harbin in the 1920s, 30s and 40s. During times of celebration and religious festivals, the synagogue attracted people from throughout the province.
The New Jewish Synagogue, which provides a narration of the Jewish religion in the cityï¼Œis a home to an extensive collection of Jewish culture and artifacts.