Friday, April 23, 2021

Groundbreaking ceremony for the Peace Synagogue in Tblissi

In a Groundbreaking Ceremony, Bishop Malkhaz Songulashvili, the Israeli Ambassador Ran Gidor and Consul Smadar Zemach-Razabi, placed the time capsule into the foundation of the Peace Synagogue in Tblisi, Georgia, on April 22, 2021.

Similar to the House of One, a building complex is being constructed in Georgia that structurally connects the already existing Peace Cathedral with a synagogue and a mosque.


Groundbreaking Ceremony in the Peace Synagogue and photography exhibition in the Peace Cathedral


A report by Bishop lIia Osefashvili, Director of the Peace Academy and Project Ambassador of the House of One.

Near the Peace Cathedral, a synagogue and a mosque are being built under the direction of Bishop Malkhaz Songhulashvili. The mosque is almost completed, while the synagogue is under construction and initially only concrete floor and walls.

On April 22, two actions were carried out at the Peace Cathedral. Ambassador of the State of Israel Ran Gidor and Consul Smadar Zemach-Razabi visited the synagogue under construction and together with Bishop Malkhaz Songulashvili placed a time capsule in the floor of the synagogue. In the capsule there are the blessings of bishops of the Cathedral of Peace, as well as stones from Jerusalem and from Hamadan (a city in Iran where the tombs of Queen Esther and Mordechai are located). Before the capsule was placed in the foundation of the Peace Synagogue, Bishop Malkhaz, with gratitude to the assistance, read the letters of representatives of the "House of One" in Berlin, Pastor Gregor Hohberg, Rabbi Andreas Nachama and Imam Kadir Sanci.

"My wife and my co-workers know that it is not difficult for me to find the words, but it is difficult for me to put into words what I am experiencing ... what is happening today in the Cathedral of Peace is a drop in the bucket compared to what needs to be done. This is a drop of hope and in that drop is the sea. It is unfortunate that such peace projects are so rare in this century," said Israeli Ambassador Ran Gidor during the laying of the cornerstone at the synagogue.


The ceremony was attended by the leaders of the Muslim (Shiite) and Yezidi communities, as well as representatives of the public.


Photography exhibition at the Peace Cathedral: "Jerusalem - not only the city" by Dima Brickmann


Afterwards, the exhibition of the Jewish photographer Dima Brickmann entitled "Jerusalem - not only the city" took place in the Peace Cathedral. The project was created in cooperation with the art program "Transcendentalia" and the Embassy of the State of Israel.

The photographs of the exhibition show the religious life of Jews, Christians and Muslims in Jerusalem. At the opening of the exhibition, Ambassador Ran Gidor thanked the artist as well as the Georgian actors: "I know the artist who took these photos. But this exhibition, which is held here, has exceeded all expectations. Many thanks to the Cathedral of Peace for this wonderful hospitality".

Among the visitors to the exhibition was also the well-known Georgian writer of Jewish origin Guram Batiashvili. He emphasizes: "I am here for the first time, but when I entered, I immediately felt the atmosphere of Jerusalem. But the Jewish House of Prayer (the synagogue) is an incredible thing. Thank you so much!"

And the former mayor of the city of Tbilisi, Zurab Tshiaberashvili also emphasizes the special importance of the interfaith project: "When the mosque and the synagogue are completed, the Peace Cathedral will become one of the most important landmarks of Tbilisi."


The exhibition in the Peace Cathedral is open until May 20