Jewish Heritage Europe

Calendar

Sep
22
Sat
Ornament of their city – the synagogue of Kaiserslautern, 1886-1938 @ Kaiserslautern Stadtmuseum
Sep 22 – Dec 23 all-day

A special exhibit tells the story of the creation and destruction of the grand synagogue in Kaiserslautern, German, once hailed as the “ornament of their city.”

Inaugurated in 1886, the synagogue, was designed by the “once well-known, now somewhat forgotten” architect Ludwig Levy. The synagogue was razed in the summer of 1938 — months before Kristallnacht.

The exhibit features dramatic photos of the destruction of the building. It also includes  a brief outline of Levy’s life and work. 

Click to see description of exhibition and a photo gallery

 

Nov
6
Tue
“Seven Crates of Jewish Material” On Looting and Rediscovery, from 1938 to the Present @ Jewish Museum Munich
Nov 6 2018 @ 10:00 – May 1 2019 @ 17:00

At the beginning of the 20th century in Bavaria, when a great many Jews moved to the cities or emigrated, rural congregations faced the threat of disappearing altogether. What remained were the sometimes splendid synagogues with their exquisite ritual objects. To save these from being lost, the Verband Bayerischer Israelitischer Gemeinden (Association of Israelite Congregations in Bavaria) commissioned the art historian Theodor Harburger (1887–1949) to visit these places and document the synagogues’ holdings. The objects photographed and described by Harburger at that time have either been scattered around the globe since then or else their whereabouts is unknown. Eighty years after the Kristallnacht, when the furnishings of the synagogues were either desecrated or confiscated, little hope exists today of ever finding the ritual objects which disappeared and of returning these to the descendants of the original owners.

Against this background, a spectacular find was made in 2016 in the depot of what is now the Museum für Franken in Würzburg. In the process of cataloguing its holdings for the first time since 1945, the museum came across several crates of Jewish ritual objects, some of which had been burned beyond recognition while others were mere fragments. Bernhard Purin, Director of the Jewish Museum Munich, has been able to complete an survey of these items over the past two years and, with the help of the documentation compiled by Theodor Harburger, determine that these objects came from seven synagogues in Würzburg and the surrounding area.

A research project in collaboration with the Landesstelle für die nichtstaatlichen Museen in Bayern and the German Lost Art Foundation has since revealed that around one third of the some 150 objects had been confiscated from the synagogues during the Kristallnacht in 1938. Sources state that “seven crates of Jewish material” had subsequently been handed over to the museum.

The exhibition is the first presentation of these long-forgotten, looted Jewish ritual objects—which include valuable Torah ornaments, Hanukkah lamps, Seder plates, and many others—and their history. Thanks to inscriptions, mostly in Hebrew, is was possible to determine the names of a number of donors, who gifted these objects to the synagogues at that time. Their biographies, some of which date back to the 18th century, as well as those of their descendants, can also be traced in the exhibition. The path of life of many met a gruesome end during the Shoah. Several, on the other hand, led out of Germany to different places around the world. This exhibition commemorates all these people, members of former rural congregations in Bavaria, and the objects which were once so precious to them.

 

Nov
9
Fri
Photograph exhibit on Lithuanian Jewish cemeteries @ Erdemuseum Berlin
Nov 9 @ 19:30 – Nov 30 @ 17:00

A photo exhibit called “Fields full of souls: Jewish cemeteries in Lithuania” by Ellis Berlijn. About fifteen pictures taken in Alytus, Seirijai, and Kaunas will be on display. 

The exhibit opens Nov. 9 and runs through Nov. 30

Nov
18
Sun
AEJM Annual Conference @ Hungarian Jewish Museum & Archives
Nov 18 @ 13:00 – Nov 20 @ 16:00

The annual conference of the Association of European Jewish Museums.

Click here to see the program

 

Museum & Heritage Projects on Hungarian Jewish History @ Budapest, Goldmark Hall
Nov 18 @ 16:30 – 18:30

 

Museum & Heritage Projects on Hungarian Jewish History
 
 
Round table discussion within the context of the AEJM annual conference, moderated by JHE Director Ruth Ellen Gruber.
 
The participants will present and discuss several new projects in Hungary that deal with Jewish heritage in different ways. The members of the round table include:
 
Mariann Frank, leader of the “Footsteps of the Wonder Rabbis” project located in the refurbished synagogue and former Rabbi’s house in Mád, in northeast Hungary;
 
Henriette Kiss, Deputy Director of the Rumbach Street Synagogue project in Budapest, where a cultural center and exhibition hall will be opened in 2019
 
Balázs Tamási, Head of the Library of the Rabbinical Seminary in Budapest;
 
Ferenc Olti, founder and Director of the House of Jewish Excellence cultural centre and exhibition space, anchored by the restored synagogue in Balatonfüred.
Nov
19
Mon
Metropolitan Jewish Cemeteries book presentation @ Fuga, Budapest
Nov 19 @ 17:00 – 18:30

Presentation of Rudolf Klein’s new book Metropolitan Jewish Cemeteries

(in Hungarian)

Click HERE and HERE  to see our posts about the book.

Nov
21
Wed
European Routes of Jewish Heritage Training Programmes @ Casa Adret, Barcelona
Nov 21 all-day

The AEPJ Incubator Project is a 3 year program. A center for development of Jewish Heritage Routes: Cultural, educational, heritage and tourism co-operation projects with a transnational importance and significance.

Participants will receive training on global, national, regional and local issues concerning the development of cultural tourism projects, Jewish heritage, sustainable development projects, co-creation, Faro convention, community/citizens’ participation and other key issues for the development of their projects.

During the three years of the AEPJ Incubator Project, an annual training will be held at the AEPJ Headquarters in Barcelona, especially designed for managers, directors and project leaders who seek to create a Jewish Heritage Route within the framework of the Council of Europe, as well as for those who are already working on a Route project and want to improve and upgrade their project.

The training is designed and will be carried out by three members of the Scientific Board of the AEPJ:

Dr. Jordi Tresserras Juan, University of Barcelona.
Prof. Yoel Mansfeld, University of Haifa.
Prof. Jeremy Leigh, Hebrew Union College

Nov
22
Thu
European Routes of Jewish Heritage Training Programmes @ Casa Adret, Barcelona
Nov 22 all-day

The AEPJ Incubator Project is a 3 year program. A center for development of Jewish Heritage Routes: Cultural, educational, heritage and tourism co-operation projects with a transnational importance and significance.

Participants will receive training on global, national, regional and local issues concerning the development of cultural tourism projects, Jewish heritage, sustainable development projects, co-creation, Faro convention, community/citizens’ participation and other key issues for the development of their projects.

During the three years of the AEPJ Incubator Project, an annual training will be held at the AEPJ Headquarters in Barcelona, especially designed for managers, directors and project leaders who seek to create a Jewish Heritage Route within the framework of the Council of Europe, as well as for those who are already working on a Route project and want to improve and upgrade their project.

The training is designed and will be carried out by three members of the Scientific Board of the AEPJ:

Dr. Jordi Tresserras Juan, University of Barcelona.
Prof. Yoel Mansfeld, University of Haifa.
Prof. Jeremy Leigh, Hebrew Union College

Nov
23
Fri
European Routes of Jewish Heritage Training Programmes @ Casa Adret, Barcelona
Nov 23 all-day

The AEPJ Incubator Project is a 3 year program. A center for development of Jewish Heritage Routes: Cultural, educational, heritage and tourism co-operation projects with a transnational importance and significance.

Participants will receive training on global, national, regional and local issues concerning the development of cultural tourism projects, Jewish heritage, sustainable development projects, co-creation, Faro convention, community/citizens’ participation and other key issues for the development of their projects.

During the three years of the AEPJ Incubator Project, an annual training will be held at the AEPJ Headquarters in Barcelona, especially designed for managers, directors and project leaders who seek to create a Jewish Heritage Route within the framework of the Council of Europe, as well as for those who are already working on a Route project and want to improve and upgrade their project.

The training is designed and will be carried out by three members of the Scientific Board of the AEPJ:

Dr. Jordi Tresserras Juan, University of Barcelona.
Prof. Yoel Mansfeld, University of Haifa.
Prof. Jeremy Leigh, Hebrew Union College

Nov
29
Thu
Synagogues as Museums and Galleries in East‐Central Europe @ Neumünster Abbey Luxembourg
Nov 29 @ 11:00 – 18:00
Rudi Klein in action, photographing the synagogue in Samorin, Slovakia, now a contemporary arts center. Photo © Ruth Ellen Gruber

Photo exhibition by Rudolf Klein

Unlike in Germany and Austria, where the Nazis destroyed the vast majority of synagogues, in the countries of East‐Central Europe many synagogues survived the Holocaust. Dilapidated, they stood as mementos during communist times and even after the change of regimes. Some of them were destroyed in the intense urban development of the 1960s and 1970s, like the two great synagogues of Bratislava. Some crumbled because of negligence or the hostility of Communist party leadership, like the great synagogue in Debrecen or Szecheny (both in Hungary). Some were altered beyond recognition, as for instance the rare art nouveau synagogues in Vinogradov (Ukraine). In some major historic Jewish centres, like Prague‐Josefov or Krakow‐Kazimierz synagogues were more fortunate, being restored from the 1950s onwards, but these were the few exemptions and no the rule regarding synagogues that did not serve their original function. 

In the 1970s some abandoned synagogues were cared for by local municipalities, and over the course of the subsequent three decades many of them have been rescued and adapted to secular use. The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia were in the forefront in Europe in renovating and restoring these monuments to their former Jewish life. This endeavour peaked after the fall of the Berlin Wall, when domestic efforts were complemented more and more frequently by support from abroad, mainly from private foundations in the US and later with the support of the EU. With the rise of new democracies, there were shifts not only in quantity, but in quality too: restoration became more appropriate in function and accurate in terms of spatial arrangement, structures and details. Synagogues were converted into Jewish museums, Holocaust museums and memorials, concert halls, municipal cultural centres, galleries. 

This exhibition presents a brief survey of synagogues converted into museums and galleries in Austria, Bosnia‐Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, and Slovakia. 

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