Multiple sources confirm that Jews were living in Belgrade before the Ottoman conquest. Although the first Jewish community in Belgrade was formally established in 1866, synagogues in the city date from the middle of the 17th century. Sukat Shalom is the sixth synagogue built in Belgrade by the local Jewish community. The foundation stone was laid on Sunday, June 15, 1924. The building was finished on November 1, 1925, and the ceremonial consecration was performed in the summer of 1926, when the interior furnishing was completed. The synagogue was built in the Ashkenazy tradition and a bilingual Hebrew–Serbian charter was set as its cornerstone, which was signed by Rabbi Shlang, King Aleksandar Karadjordjevic and Queen Marija. Not far from this one, the old Ashkenazi synagogue was situated in the former building of the National Theater, which was in use from 1869 to 1925.
There is a beautiful large garden in front of the synagogue. At one time, a Mikveh, ceremonial bath, students’ restaurant, a gymnasium and the rooms of shohet and shamash were situated on the ground floor. Upstairs were the rooms of the rabi, teacher and hazan, while classrooms for religious science were found in the attic. The synagogue had 300 seats on the first floor, and 180 seats on the gallery, ezrat nashim.
Not two decades after it was built, the temple was trodden down in the 1941–1944 Nazi occupation, with the German soldiers using the building as a brothel. It was consecrated immediately after the war ended. The sad ceremony of the synagogue’s restoration was attended by a small number of Belgrade’s Jews who had survived the Holocaust. The name Sukat Shalom, the Dwelling of Peace, was given to the synagogue in 2002. Today, this is the only active Jewish temple in Belgrade and this part of Serbia.
Maršala Birjuzova 19, Belgrade, Serbia