Duration (door to door):
Our Jewish Riga tour is designed to give a vivid insight of how the Jewish community lived in Riga for centuries, preserved their traditions in spite of the tragic events of world war II and harsh repression during the Soviet period. You will visit the Old Riga Synagogue, tragic landmarks of the Nazi holocaust and witness the rebirth of the Jewish reclaimed identity.
During the Second World War around 90 per cent of Latvia’s Jewish community was killed. Our Jewish Riga tour is designed to give a well-informed and accurate picture of how life once was in Latvia before these atrocities took place. We also try to inform visitors about the terrible realities of Nazi occupation by guiding you through the streets, houses and neighbourhoods that played witness to the tragedies of those years.
The great choral Synagogue "Kar Schul" in Gogola Street was consacred in 1871. In 1941, 300 Lithuanian Jewish refugees sheltering in the synagogue, entire Jewish families from the neighbourhood and passers-by in the street were burnt alive in the synagogue.
The Maskavas suburb is the historical "Jewish Quarter". Never a ghetto until the Nazi years, Maskavas became the main area of Jewish settlement in the 19th century. Many Jewish religious and cultural institutions were established there. The sites of the great Choral Synagogue and the old Jewish cemetery are now places of contemplation of the Nazi inhumanities.
The important memorial sites of Rumbala and Birkenieki forests are places to grieve the great loss of the Riga Jewish community. Stories of armed resistance and Jews in hiding who refused to surrender but fought to their deaths can be told in the ghetto.
The Jewish Museum of Riga is located in the center. The Director is Mr Marger Vestermanis. The museum has recently been renovated and has many moving exhibits and photos. Visitors are welcome and a short video is shown depicting the tragedy of the Holocaust in Latvia. The Jewish Community Centre is on the ground floor in the same Building as the museum.