On October 1 1869 Emperor Alexander II (ruled 1855-1881) signed a resolution of the Committee of Ministers allowing the Jews of St. Petersburg to build the Grand Choral Synagogue to replace the existing tabernacles. This way the Jewish community gained a legitimate status in the capital, and the Jews were recognized as an integral and permanently existing group of the city's population. The permission to build the synagogue met the expectations of the city's Jews and also was approved by the most progressive members of the Russian intelligentsia. But the emperor's signature sealing the legal side of the issue gave only the start to the 24 years work on making the dream come true.
The present album tells the reader about the problems this majestic temple faced, people who one way or another were involved in its creation or would serve in it, shows its splendid interiors, praying articles and ritual objects from the Jewish Religious Community collection.
The album also shows the process of the unique restoration of the building carried out recently. It also focuses on the current life of the city Jewish Religious Community the heart of which has always been and still is the Grand Cheral Synagogue.
The album will be of interest to people not indifferent to the Jewish culture and history and to those
who are fond of books, architecture and decorative applied art.