Anshei Minsk Synagogue
"The Minsker" in the Market2004-04-01 15:20:53
Toronto's Anshei Minsk Synagogue, completed in 1930, brought together Jews from approximately 30 other small synagogues operating in the 1920s in the Spadina-College area. Today, it is an enduring symbol of the tradition and atmosphere of an earlier era, when the heart of Toronto's Jewish social, economic and religious activity was located in Kensington Market.
Anshei Minsk (Men of Minsk) Synagogue offers daily prayer services to a diverse congregation of downtown residents of all ages, university students and young working professionals. People come to the Minsk from all Jewish religious backgrounds, and all are welcomed.
The Minsk is regularly featured on tours of Jewish Toronto. It has the architectural look and feel of a traditional Eastern European synagogue of the 1930s, with stained glass windows throughout the building and hardwood on the main and upper floors. Magen David (Star of David) are featured on the synagogue's chandelier and at the top window pane of the sanctuary, and historic marble plaques hang in the foyer. The sanctuary walls are painted with musical instruments and animal motifs that symbolize Jewish traditions.
An arsonist attack in March 2002 caused extensive damage to one section of the synagogue's upper level. Over 40 boxes of sacred books were torched as a result: they are now in the process of being restored through a chemical procedure administered by Heritage Canada. Those pages that cannot be preserved will be buried in accordance with Jewish law. Fortunately, the majority of the Anshei Minsk Synagogue remains intact.
For information about the Anshei Minsk Synagogue, contact Rabbi Spero at (416) 595 5723 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org