ul. Zaporizka 1
9,05” long / 1,75” wide
The trace of mezuzah
new mezuzah - bronze cast of the trace
The story hidden behind
ZHOVKVA A RENAISSANCE SHTETL
Zhovkva does not resemble a typical Galician shtetl. This is a Renaissance city. It was founded by the Grand Crown Hetman Stanisław Żółkiewski – the minister of war of the Crown of the Polish Kingdom. The main ongoing construction work in the city at present is the restoration work of The Castle – Żółkiewski’s seat. It was designed for the hetman by a Polish architect of Italian origin – Paweł Szczęśliwy. Paweł Szęśliwy went on to design and build The Golden Rose Synagogue in Lviv.
ZHOVKVA THE KING AND THE SYNAGOGUE
Who was Żółkiewski? This hetman was the great-great-grandfather of John III Sobieski a King of Poland . Sobieski enlarged the castle considerably. The architect Piotr Beber worked for him. Piotr Beber also designed The Great Synagogue in Zhovkva. In 1649, Sobieski issued a series of building permits for the Talmud-Tora school, a mikveh, a printing house, and allowed Jews to settle in the center of town. What they still needed was a synagogue. Sobieski agreed also to that. The building of the new synagogue was financed from three sources: the community’s own contribution, a loan and Sobieski himself making the largest financial contribution to build the new synagogue.
ZHOVKVA THE END
In 1942, a ghetto was built in this town. Over 6,000 people were moved into it, 4,000 of whom were murdered in the nearby woods. 74 Jews from Zhovkva survived the Holocaust. The Polish community was expelled and their belongings plundered. In 2011, the City Council of Zhovkva gave Stepan Bandera the title of the honorary resident of Zhovkva.