A Slonim Steering Group has been established under the auspices of the Foundation for Jewish Heritage to make the vision a reality, working with the Mayor and people of Slonim together with the descendants of Slonim Jewish families.
A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Steering Group and the Municipality expressing the willingness of both sides to work together to progress the project.
Alongside the restoration of the Great Synagogue, the Mayor plans to reorganise and landscape the public realm to enhance the surroundings.
There are four broad phases to the proposal for the Synagogue:-
1. Structural Survey
This is to assess the current state of the building and identify if there is the need for urgent works. This has been completed.
2. Building Stabilisation
This is to secure the building to prevent any further deterioration of the exterior and interior, particularly of the unique wall paintings and decorated bimah and ark. An incremental approach has been adopted, with an initial focus on fixing the roof which has been completed. We are now awaiting an estimate for the full stabilisation works.
3. Feasibility Study
This is to define the future options for the building and test the validity of the vision. It will involve wide consultation with a range of stakeholders within Slonim and beyond, including descendents of the Jewish community, and will result in a preferred option being determined. This preferred option will include a business plan with full costings, the identification of potential funding sources, and a governance and organisational structure. Historical and archeaological research and investigations will be an important part of this stage.
The Study will be undertaken by a mixture of local consultants and international specialists, and will adhere to recognised standards of restoration.
This is to fully realise the project implementing the conclusions of the previous Feasibility Study phase.
There will be monitoring of the project throughout the process.