953 W. Carrillo Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Email: secretary@gombinsociety.org

Wooden Synagogue of Gombin

History & Destruction

The wooden synagogue of Gombin was built in 1710 and restored in 1893. Despite all the fires that occurred in Gombin, the synagogue was never damaged. A town legend spread that ancient rabbis had blessed the synagogue that it would never burn down. In 1939, however, Nazi officers destroyed the synagogue by setting it and the surrounding Jewish community structured on fire.

Virtual Tour of the Gombin Synagogue

Take a digital tour of the Gombin Synagogue model created by Wojciech Wasilewski, Michał Sroka and their team from historic photographs and architectural drawings. Examine the ancient structure, built in the 18th century, both inside and outside. Enter the sanctuary and hear the haunting voice of a Chazan chanting the Kol Nidre. Climb the stairs to the women’s balcony and imagine our grandmothers.


Background Information

Wooden Synagogues of Poland in the 17th and 18th Centuries

Throughout the entire history of the persecution of the Jewish people there is nothing to compare with the destruction of Jewish art in Poland. There is no precedent of such wanton destruction of the religious objects of any other nation. This was not just the venting of wrath by a ruthless conqueror on synagogues, museums and on ancient as well as modern Jewish works of art. This was a carefully calculated, methodical destruction, in fact something which could be termed “modern iconoclasm.” These acts were carried out with a sadistic viciousness. The Jewish population was ordered to set fire to their own prayer- houses and places of study, to tear down tombstones in cemeteries and to destroy religious articles. Those who refused to carry out these orders were severely punished…