History and Memory
The history of the Jewish community in Sibiu began in 1845, when, by a document that is now kept in the archives, a Jewish man was permitted to settle there. Thirty-five years later, there were almost 300 Jewish people in Sibiu. The Jewish community came together about the same time, when the ritual bath was inaugurated, the chapel was established and dwelling buildings were bought. Armin Horovitz was the first rabbi to deliver a service in the Synagogue established in 1899. The Great Synagogue of Sibiu, with the front wall made of red brick, was designed by the architect Szalay Ferenc. The eclectic style joins neo-romantic, Gothic Revival, Neo-Renaissance and Moorish elements. In the Sibiu county, the only ones that are still preserved are the Great Synagogue of Sibiu and the one in Mediaș. The number of the Jewish inhabitants decreased significantly, especially after 1956, when many of them left the country. (In 1947, there were approximately 2300 Jewish inhabitants in Sibiu). Nowadays, the Jewish community of Sibiu barely includes 20 members. The Synagogue is used more often for concerts, while prayers are conducted in a house behind it.