German shul reopens 73 years after pogrom

A glorious synagogue was inaugurated in the German city of Speyer on the anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom.
The previous shul was destroyed By the Nazis exactly 73 years ago, in 1938.

The synagogue’s rebirth marks the revival of Jewish life in the country which gave the world one of the darkest times in human history.

The ceremony was attended by hundreds of Germany’s Jews, as well as the German president and representatives of the Conference of European rabbis, who inaugurated the synagogue alongside representatives of the German government and municipal district.

חנוכת בית הכנסת מסמלת פריחה מחודשת של החיים היהודיים בגרמניה (צילום: באדיבות משה פרידמן – ועידת רבני אירופה)
Revival of Jewish life in Germany (photo courtesy of Moshe Friedman, Conference of European Rabbis)

German President Christian Wulff said that the revival of Jewish life in German was a gift. “We are glad that a new synagogue was built and that people will be able to pray in it,” he noted.

"האתגר הגדול - הדרככה רוחנית". הרב פנחס גולדשמיט באירוע  (צילום: באדיבות משה פרידמן – ועידת רבני אירופה)
Rabbi Pinchas Goldsmith during event (photo courtesy of Moshe Friedman, Conference of European Rabbis)

Speyer’s Jewish community has suffered from many anti-Semitic incidents. The town’s first synagogue was built in 1104, eight years after the execution of 10 Jews by the Crusaders. Some 600 Jews live in the area, most of them former Soviet Union residents.

נשיא גרמניה לצד חברי ממשלה רבים ומאות מיהודי גרמניה הגיעו לחנוכת בית הכנסת (צילום: באדיבות משה פרידמן – ועידת רבני אירופה)
German president alongside ministers and hundreds of Germans Jews (photo courtesy of Moshe Friedman, Conference of European Rabbis)

ברוב פאר והדר. היכל בית הכנסת החדש (צילום: באדיבות משה פרידמן – ועידת רבני אירופה)
Glory and elegance (photo courtesy of Moshe Friedman, Conference of European Rabbis)
President of the Conference of European Rabbis and Moscow’s Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldsmith said that the greatest challenge was training rabbis to provide spiritual guidance to Germany’s Jews.

“We have helped greatly in the reestablishment of central Jewish Orthodox educational institutions in Germany, including the Berlin yeshiva which educated Germany’s rabbis until the Holocaust,” he said.

“In this institute, future rabbis are trained to lead the Jewish community across Germany, and it serves as the spiritual center of the German Jewry today.”

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