World Monuments Fund Presents

An Inside Look at WMF's Jewish Heritage Program

Jewish culture has been influenced by thousands of years of migration, and wherever Jewish people have made their homes, they have built monuments to their traditions and faith. World Monuments Fund (WMF)’s Jewish Heritage Program leads international efforts to preserve these important sites. Hundreds of synagogues and other Jewish cultural sites around the world are in danger of disappearing forever—threatened by conflict, abandonment, neglect, inappropriate reuse, public apathy, or a simple lack of resources. In many instances, these structures are the only surviving evidence of local thriving Jewish life. 

Since 1988, WMF’s Jewish Heritage Program has supported conservation work at nearly 60 diverse sites—ranging in date from the fifteenth to the early twentieth century—in 27 countries, including France, Greece, Hungary, India, China, Morocco, and Poland.

And at our current active project, the Traditional Houses in the Old Jewish Mahalla of Bukhara, Uzbekistan, a 2020 World Monuments Watch Site, we are launching a project to document the unique built heritage of the rich history of Jewish life in Bukhara—home to part of the Jewish diaspora for over a millennium—and to support sustainable, adaptive reuse of the houses.

As we celebrate our 55th anniversary, we wanted to share some highlights from our significant work at some of these important Jewish heritage sites around the world.