Karaim kenesa

Yaroslavov val, 7

This building is constructed in Mauritian-Arabic style about 100 years ago. Before now it was a property of karaim community — Jewish religious community which esteems Old Testament instead of Talmud.

Karaim kenasa history

The building of Karaim kenasa was projected by a well known Kiev architect Gorodeckiy upon an order of the tobacco tycoon and a head of a Karaim Community Solomon Kogen. The tycoon bought a manor on the Yaroslaviv val street especially for building a kenasa. The construction lasted several years; it was stopped in 1900 because of the death of tycoon but was once re stared. The kenasa was grand opened in 1902. The walls decorated with a stone carving imitations and with a modeling in the form of arcs are made by Italian painter — Salia. Rather expensive and rare for that time material — cement is used.

The edifice of kenasa is rather small, and was fit out with the most modern for its time technical equipment — electric light, steam-heating and ventilation. Now we can see kenasa in for some extend distorted view — in particular there is no dome on the building, it was destroyed by the Bolsheviks who have token away kenasa from karaims after the October revolution in 1917.


Karaims are the successors of the Mongol Tatars who confess Judaism but esteem only Old Testament, completely rejecting the Talmud. The community of karaims was established in Kiev in 1850, but their quantity was small.

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  • Peter 2013.04.25

    My relative Helena Asiewicz-Passakasow was married to Armenian-Karaim Zachary. They united not only their lives, but also their surnames Zachari-asiewicz. Many Karaims converted to catholicism. So their son was bishop and professor Franciszek Zachariasiewicz(1770-1845). His uncle Grzegorz Zachariasiewicz (1740-1814) also was a bishop. Here on google is the book "The Karaites of Galicia: An Ethnoreligious Minority among...Shalom Zachariasiewicz..."

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