In the center of Berlin, on a street called Brunnenstrasse, lies a quiet, unassuming ensemble of buildings. From the street, the front building looks like any other in the neighbourhood. But it is not. For in the heart of its courtyard sits a building with large arched windows. Over the door, one can still make out the faded inscription in Hebrew:
"Ze Hasha'ar L´Hashem, Tzadikim Yavo´u Vo..." - "This is the gate to Hashem, the Righteous shall enter through it...".
Close to one hundred years after its inauguration, and more than seventy years since the so-called "Kristallnacht", the Beth Zion Synagogue still stands. The Synagogue was inaugurated in 1911, and was built by an association of Jewish families from Eastern Europe, primarily Poland, who had settled in the neighbourhood. The building was gutted on "Kristallnacht", but remained standing, several hundred meters from the Berlin Wall in what was then East Berlin.
Today, the Synagogue and neighbouring buildings are the property of Beth Zion e.V., which is led by Dr. Roman and Elvira Skoblo and other members of the Skoblo Family. Through the generosity of the Skoblo Family, the entire ensemble has undergone renovations and has become the Skoblo Synagogue and Education Center - the new home of our Yeshiva. The Center features increased residence and dining halls, faculty apartments, a mikva, childcare facilities, offices, student lounges and recreation areas, and more.
The Synagogue itself serves as the Beis Midrash, the heart of the Yeshiva, where the students learn and pray. With the renovation completed our Yeshiva finally has an appropriate home, with profound historic resonances, as Jews from Eastern Europe return to Berlin and Germany and commit Jewish life anew to tradition, learning and observance. The builders of the Beth Zion Synagogue one hundred years ago would not have wanted it any other way.