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Cekiske synagogue

Cekiske synagogue

The former synagogue of Čekiškė, now abandoned and in deteriorated condition, is remarkable as the best-preserved example of painted Ark and synagogue wall decoration in Lithuania today.  Certainly there were many more instances, but they have been destroyed.  Is it just coincidence that the one synagogue where painted decoration survives is in the town from which most Burlington Jews emigrated?

It is not known if this synagogue influenced Burlington Jews, since it was built after a fire in 1887, but probably before 1900, and so it is contemporary with the erection of Ohavi Zedek (1884) and Chai Adam (1887) in Burlington.  Still, since the decoration of Chai Adam was not carried out until 1910, it is possible that some Burlington Jews were aware of the paintings in the Čekiškė synagogue either personally or from correspondence. It is highly unlikely that painter Ben Zion Black would have known this synagogue, since he came from the bigger city of Kovno.


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