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In 1939, a synagogue in Jaslo, one of thousands in pre-holocaust Europe, was destroyed. The life of its community, and those of many others were sentenced to fade into history. Today, in the Forest Hill neighbourhood of Toronto, we have undertaken to continue the legacy of that beautiful synagogue which served as the hub and centre of community life in Jaslo. The spark of Jaslo lives on today. The exterior of our centre is an exact replica of the original shul. It is grand and elegant and bespeaks the dignity of Jewish life. But more than that, we are building a Jewish community together not unlike the community in Jaslo. It is a community where people care about each other and enjoy celebrating Jewish life together in all of its hues and colours. Our prayer is that our community will be a testament to the reality that Jewish life can never be extinguished. Am Yisrael Chai!

The Forest Hill Jewish Centre Jaslo Reconstruction Project

The Building of the Aron for the New Sanctuary

Lavi - Synagogue Restoration

For the first time in history, Lavi reconstructs a synagogue
that was destroyed in the Holocaust.

Recently, we completed a major project, one that was particularly challenging and thrilling for Lavi Furniture Industries. Seventy-seven years after the synagogue in Jaslo, Poland, was destroyed by the Nazis, it was re-established in Forest Hill Jewish center, in Toronto, Canada.
The project included designing and constructing historically accurate replicas of the furnishings, seating system, and the large Ark, every item matched the original to give the synagogue and members of the community a sense of home.
The challenge: remain true to history!
The original three-story building had a sanctuary with seating for 450. It was completely restored by Lavi. Micha Oberman, Lavi’s CEO, said: “Our biggest challenge was staying true to history. To this end, we invested resources in comprehensive, thorough research that was conducted in archives, online, and in a number of locations in the Diaspora, to understand the unique artistic motifs that characterized it.”
One of the most complex tasks was restoring the magnificent Ark, which rises to a height of 11.5 meters (37.7 feet) and was hand-gilded with spectacular artistry.
Shalom Ashkenazi, Lavi’s VP Marketing, concludes: "This is one of the most exciting projects we have done in the past 50 years. The synagogue restoration in Forest Hill represents a victory of the spirit over those who wanted to destroy the Jewish people.”
You are welcome to listen to the interview of Micha Oberman the CEO of Lavi that was aired on Chanel 20 Israel TV

Sun, November 17 2019 19 Cheshvan 5780