Georgia / Tbilissi and its surroundings

Gori

Gori’s Jewish community in 1958 © Beit Hatfutsot, Museum of the Jewish People – Courtesy of Raphaël Eliashvili, Israel

Not far from Tbilisi, about 90 kilometers away, is the town of Gori, the birthplace of Joseph Stalin, to whom a museum is dedicated. The marshroutka is the most economical way: departure every 20 minutes or so from Didube bus station in Tbilisi for about one euro (3 GEL) and one hour and a half. You can otherwise go by taxi, for about twenty euros. At 25 Kasteli Street, on the first floor of the courtyard of a house, you can see the small and cozy Gori synagogue, built in the 1940s: at this address is also a mikveh and a traditional oven matsot. During our visit, the Jewish community of Gori, today reduced to about twenty people after more than 200 worshipers left the city following the 2008 Russian-Georgian conflict, was still meeting in the synagogue for Shabbat . The Gori Cemetery, which has a Jewish square, is on the edge of town, about a 20-minute walk from the center. You can access it by going up, from the Stalin museum, the Sameba street.