The Central Synagogue was built in 1898 by eminent Kyiv philanthropist Lazar Brodsky. This striking architectural monument served as a Jewish religious centre for nearly thirty years until it was seized by the Soviet Union in 1926. For a short time it hosted a handicraft club, after which it was turned into a doll theatre. During the Nazi occupation, Germans used the synagogue as a stable for Wermacht horses. The building was returned to the Jewish community after the fall of the Soviet Union. Despite the serious damage that resulted from 70 years of neglect, the hall was immediately opened to parishioners. Today a number of Jewish educational, religious and cultural programmes are held here. The Museum of Jewish Heritage is also housed within, and displays ancient books, candelabras, Menorahs and bas-reliefs.