Michael Mail, CEO of the Foundation for Jewish Heritage and alumnus of Brandeis University, was recently interviewed by Brandeis Magazine about the work of the Foundation. It begins:
Before World War II, Europe was home to some 17,000 synagogues, a rich tapestry of architectural styles, sizes, and eras. Only about 3,300 of those synagogues remain, many falling apart and decaying.
“We have to save these buildings,” says Michael Mail, GSAS MJC’83. “They are often the last testament to the Jewish life that was in these places.”
Mail launched the London-based Foundation for Jewish Heritage in 2015 to preserve Europe’s synagogues as well as other Jewish architectural sites at risk around the world. The foundation has mapped Europe’s remaining places of Jewish worship, identifying those that have the most historical significance and are at the greatest risk of destruction. It has also cataloged Jewish heritage sites in Iraq and Syria, and is part of a consortium working on a European Union-funded project to preserve more than 1,700 Jewish burial sites in Central and Eastern Europe, hundreds of which could disappear.
Read the full article on the Brandeis website.