Jewish Community Museum
The Bratislava Jewish Community Museum is a project of the Bratislava Jewish community that we envision as part of a long-term strategy to preserve the Heydukova Street Synagogue. In 2008, we began processing the Barkany Judaica collection as part of preparations for the new museum. In 2009 we commissioned the architect Martin Lepej to design the new museum space, and we refurbished the exhibition venue in 2011.
The museum exhibition is installed in the synagogue's disused women's gallery and includes key items from the Judaica collection of the Bratislava Jewish community as well as other objects – some of them associated with the Holocaust – donated by individual community members.
Open to the general public from May 20 until October 10 (except Jewish holidays), the museum serves to integrate the synagogue into educational activities for Bratislava students and teachers and also make it a dynamic part of Bratislava’s tourism infrastructure. The sanctuary and the Holocaust memorial wall in the synagogue complex are also accessible as part of the exhibition.
The exhibition concept reflects the fact that the synagogue is still in use as the only Jewish house of worship in Bratislava. The main "exhibit" is thus the synagogue itself. Visitors are able to explore the sanctuary, and the items of Judaica on display are exhibited within the authentic environment for which they were created – the synagogue.
In addition to the sanctuary, which was left untouched, the exhibition space is about 150 square meters. We have divided the exhibition into the following sections:
- The Main Hall. Four main themes are presented – Community, Rabbis, Education and Synagogues. In addition, a Holocaust memorial wall presents objects related to the Holocaust, including the deportations, hiding and resistance. The objects have been donated to the exhibition by community members. There is a showcase devoted to objects specifically related to the post-war communist experience and the renaissance of Bratislava Jewish life after the fall of communism.
- Judaica Corridor. Located along the western gallery, this space houses the main objects from the Second Barkany Collection, put together after World War II by the architect Eugen Barkany. They were originally kept in the Bratislava Neolog synagogue that was demolished in 1969.
- The stairway providing access to the exhibition will present a schematic time line of Bratislava Jewish history.
- The Arcade. An exhibition space is reserved for special exhibitions.