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Building of the former Morgenroit Cultural House

Morgenroit Cultural House

Element 340
Shyllera St, 11
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Across the former Jewish National House on Teatralny Square, on the corner of Schiller Street, visitors will pass the former theater and concerts hall of the Jewish „Morgenroit“ club.

Morgenroit was founded in 1908 as an educational and cultural center for Jewish workers. “Morgenroit” was an organization of “Bund”, the Jewish section of the Social Democratic Party. The Romanization of basic and vocational schools in Bukovina in the 1920s made it a daunting task for Jewish youth to become craftsmen.

Hence “Morgenroit” decided to establish a vocational school next to the theater and concert hall. The vocational school was opened in 1924, thanks to financial aid by Jewish organizations from the USA. Today a primary school is situated in that building, located on Schillerstr. 3.

Only in 1931 the second part of the building was inaugurated: the corner building would soon become the Skála cinema, screening motion pictures with celebrities like world-known singer and actor Joseph Schmidt. The stage of “Skála” was also where Ze’ev Jabotinsky, a leader of the World Revisionist Zionist Movement, gave lectures.

With the beginning of World War II the “Morgenroit” Center’s activities were restricted. In the spring of 1940 the Romanian authorities shut down the cultural center and the school. When the Soviet authorities gained control over the town in June 1940, many “Morgenroit” activists were deported to Siberia. The property was nationalized and given to the newly-created Chernivtsi State University.

Starting in 1945 the building was used for the Sholem Aleichem State Jewish Theatre, which was transferred to Czernowitz from Kyiv. Unfortunately, in 1950 the Council of Ministers of the USSR closed down the theatre for political reasons. The building was given back again to the Chernivtsi State University. Since 2001 the former building of “Morgenroit” serves as an assembly hall of the Bukovinian State Medical University.

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