Bikur Cholim Synagogue

Chevra Bikur Cholim Synagogue is an example of a well-preserved prewar synagogue. Its interior furnishings are fully intact. The synagogue was established in 1929 by the Chevra Bikur Cholim, a Jewish charitable association. It is located in the city center on Klastorska Street, near the market square.  The eastern façade of this simple building faces the street. A pair of pointed windows marks the sanctuary. To the right of the façade is a gateway with a smaller pointed window above. The interior, while narrow, extends toward the back of the lot and leads to a backyard.

During the Nazi occupation, a Christian woman, Mrs. Maria Koperniechova, lived in the synagogue. She bricked up the windows to hide the synagogue’s appearance and refused entry to soldiers. Today, Chevra Bikur Cholim is Bardejov’s only synagogue that was not violated and that remained fully intact during the war, including its prayer books and other Jewish artifacts. After the war and up until his death in 2005, Mr. Meyer Špíra, one of the last Jewish residents of Bardejov, maintained the building and prayed in its sanctuary. Thanks to his efforts, the synagogue’s interior is considered one of the best preserved in Slovakia.

During the Memorial Gathering in  2012, the Bardejov Jewish Preservation Committee recognized Meyer Špíra posthumously for his work in maintaining and caring for the synagogue. The Committee also recognized Mrs. Koperniechova with a “Righteous of Bardejov” award for saving the synagogue during the Nazi occupation. The synagogue is currently maintained by the Central Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Slovakia (ÚZŽNO).