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Jewish community restores synagogue in eastern Ukraine

Posted: Friday, September 29, 2000

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- A Jewish community in the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipropetrovsk has reopened its synagogue after the temple stood closed for 71 years under the Soviet regime, community officials said.

Some 5,000 people gathered last week at a reopening ceremony at the synagogue, which was restored with the help of donations from city residents, international Jewish organizations and private donors.

Several choruses and prominent musicians from Ukraine and Russia performed.

''I was amazed by the fact that many different people -- businessmen and pensioners, schoolchildren and workers -- took part in the synagogue's reconstruction,'' said city's rabbi, Shmuel Kaminetskyi.

The 400-seat synagogue was built in 1800 and 33 years later rebuilt after a fire. It was closed in 1929 by order of the atheist Communist government.

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