Jewish Community in Lviv Denied Ownership of Synagogue Complex
The Economic Court of Lviv dismissed the lawsuit of the Lviv Jewish religious community Turei Zahav (Golden Rose) against the Lviv City Council, in which the community challenged the decisions of April 14, 2005, and May 5, 2007, on the sale of plots on 28 and 23 Fedorova Street.
The right to lease the plots was sold at an auction to Ukrainian Investment Systems for 49 years for 19 million hryvnias to build a hotel in preparation for the football championship Euro 2012. However, a hotel was not built, and the plot is still fenced off.
The Jewish community said the Lviv City Council exceeded its powers when it auctioned off the land on Fedorova Street for.
The sites are located in the historical center of the city, which is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and the issue of their sales lies within the competence of the Cabinet of Ministers and the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Moreover, the Jewish community argues that on this land was located the Turei Zahav Synagogue, which consisted of sacred buildings for ritual purposes, as well as a higher Judaic school. According to the Law "On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations," the community has a right to own their places of worship along with the land required for the maintenance of these buildings.
The court's decision to dismiss the lawsuit is motivated by the fact that the plaintiffs did not prove that the community has the right to own the property on the disputed sites and by the fact that they did not prove that the religious buildings were located on these sites. The case files include documents that show that the synagogue belonged to the community of Lviv and that the rest of the ritual buildings were located on Arsenalska Street. As for the abuse of authority, the Cabinet did not support the present claim in court, Novyj Pohliad reported.