There are synagogues in Stockholm, Göteborg, Malmö and Norrköping. Jewish cemeteries can be found in Göteborg, Gotand, Kalmar, Karlskrona, Karlstad, Larbro, Malmö, Norrköping, Stockholm and Sundsvall.
An inscription in Hebrew over the main entrance shows that the Great Synagogue was built in 1870, the year in which Jews obtained full legal equality in Sweden. Designed by Fredrik Wilhelm Scholander, the synagogue is a massive rectilinear structure of plastered brick, framed by four flat-topped corner towers containing staircases. The three-part façade with its heavy cornices recalls, in a general way, ancient Near Eastern forms and Biblical descriptions of the Jerusalem Temple. The arrangement of the galleried interior recalls 19th-century trends in synagogue design promoted primarily by Reform congregations, with the bimah installed in front of the Ark in the east wall. The structure, which seats 830 people, has been maintained and restored — it’s present congregation is Masorti (Conservative). An organ and women’s choir provides music during services. It is recognized as a Swedish national historical building.
A memorial to victims of the Holocaust is engraved on the wall leading from the synagogue entrance to an adjacent Jewish community building. It was dedicated in 1998 by Carl Gustaf XVI, King of Sweden, and contains more than 8,000 names of victims who were relatives of Swedish Jews.
Ragvaldsgatan 14C, Södermalm
Long known as the ‘polische minyan’ (Polish minyan), the synagogue is situated in an 18th-century building that previously housed a small factory and later, until 1917, a cinema. The Jewish community moved there in1917 and adapted the former cinema to to become synagogue. It was renovated in 1982-83
According to the web site of the orthodox congregation that uses the synagogue, it is currently operating in a temporary space at the Bajit Jewish Cultural center, with its furnishings in storage waiting for a permanent location. The Art Nouveau furnishings come from a synagogue in Hamburg, Germany that survived Kristallnacht in 1938. Among other details, the ends of the wooden pews are decorated with lovely Art Nouveau paintings of flowers. The furnishings were shipped to Stockholm just before the outbreak of World War II.
There are four Jewish cemeteries in Stockholm, two of which are still in use: the Southern Jewish cemetery in Sköndal and Northern Jewish cemetery in Solna.
Downloadable PDF Facsimile of a 1927 book documenting the old Jewish cemeteries of Aronsberg and Kronoberg, both located on Kungsholmen in Stockholm, with translations of epitaphs into Swedish and lists of burials. These cemeteries, the earliest in the city and no longer used, operated in the 18th and 19th centuries.
A national landmark synagogue, Jewish cemetery, active Jewish community.
Östra Larmgatan 12
S-411 07 Göteborg
Built in 1855, the Götenburg synagogue is a national landmark whose eastern wall faces the moat surrounding the city. Its interior is an eclectic mix of styles, including Moorish, Byzantine and Romanesque. Its straight-backed, L-shaped pews are puritan and plain; its balconies are covered with earth-colored designs. The side columns feature intertwined motifs resembling Viking or Celtic interlacing. The octagonal bimah is trimmed in gilt, while the steps up to the Ark are painted to look like marble. Outside, the building has an entrance topped by three arched windows, flanked by smaller ones edged with subtle scalloping. The building’s corners are topped by small, windowed octagons, with copper cupolas decorated with a small Magen David design.
Active Jewish community; orthodox and egalitarian congregations; monumental synagogue; Jewish cemeteries.
Betaniaplan 2, 211 55
The monumental Orthodox synagogue, built in 1903, is an unusual mix of Moorish, Art Nouveau and Byzantine Revival styles. It two-towered face and large central cupola give it a Byzantine appearance, but the large horseshoe arches on the façade tie it to the Moorish designs popular throughout much of Europe in the second half of the 19th century. The applied painted decoration is more of its time, drawing on contemporary Art Nouveau patterns.
The old Jewish cemetery was established in 1872. It includes a monument to the victims of the Holocaust. Thousands of survivors from Nazi concentration camps found refuge in Sweden immediately after the war. Many, however, died within a short time of their arrival. There is thus a whole section in the Malmö Cemetery of so-called ‘Refugee Graves’. To commemorate all the victims of the Holocaust, a monument created by Willy Gordon, a Swedish-Jewish artist, has been built in the cemetery.
Among those buried in this cemetery are the son of Shalom Aleichem, the Yiddish writer; and two pilots of the British Royal Air Force, one British and one Australian, whose bodies were found on the Swedish coast after being shot down by German forces.
A new Jewish cemetery was established in 1978.
A first small synagogue was built in Norrköping by Jacob Marcus in 1790. Marcus had arrived in the town in 1782 with special permission to trade and to open factories. The present synagogue (on Brabogatan) was dedicated in 1858. In 1860, the congregation had 99 members. Today, there are few Jews in the town. The synagogue was listed as an historic building in 1978. A compact white structure with a squarish plan and central cupola and decorative roofline resembling battlements, it was renovated and re-inaugurated in 2010 thanks to a donation by Sweden’s General Consul in San Francisco. Jacob Marcus (1749-1819) is buried in the town’s Jewish Cemetery.