Back to Shul

© Richard Schofield

Lithuania’s 100 or so surviving former synagogues are among a tiny handful of reminders of the country’s once large and diverse Jewish population, magnificent monuments of stone and wood that, not unlike the people that once prayed and studied in them, today lie neglected, abandoned and forgotten in towns, villages and cities from Alytus to Zarasai. In August 2017, Richard Schofield spent 12 days hitchhiking and travelling by public transport around the country, photographing the buildings with a cheap Latvian smartphone and writing about the experience for a short book. Although the book is no longer unavailable, a few memories from the project can still be found online, including David G. Roskies’ original Foreword, the 100 captioned photographs that were included in the e-book and an occasionally updated synagogue spreadsheet, complete with information concerning the current condition of each surviving building.