New Synagogue in Germany Inaugurated

Rabbanim and dignitaries at the inauguration of the new shul in Eisenberg.

With the ceremonial installation of the sefer Torah in the synagogue and a formal service, a fully equipped prayer room has now become available to the guests of the Waldkliniken Eisenberg hospital in the German state of Thuringia. The 30-square-meter Synagogue Eisenberg, with its almost 80-year-old sefer Torah and furnishings from the workshops of Kibbuz Lavi, is located in the sensational new clinic building designed by star architect Matteo Thun and provides an inviting space for up to 16 people to daven.

The symbolic key to the synagogue was presented to Minister President Bodo Ramelow by Rabbi Yitshak Ehrenberg following the consecration. President Ramelow said, “We are very pleased that, with the Synagogue Eisenberg, Thuringia is now home to both the newest and the oldest synagogues in Europe at the same time. That is a powerful symbol of open-mindedness and a welcoming culture. And, above all, a symbol against antisemitism, an important statement in times like these.

“We are proud of the fact that this synagogue is located in a municipal hospital that, for years, has been a national and international ambassador as well as a beacon of Thuringia visible from afar. It demonstrates all that is possible here with us, with the vision and energy of a doer like David Thies and an effective team.”

An integral religious component of the Jewish community, the Synagogue Eisenberg was currently the fourth Jewish house of worship in Thuringia, according to State Rabbi Alexander Nachama, who also said, “The Jewish Community of Thuringia is very pleased to be able to offer our community members and guests another fully equipped synagogue with the Synagogue Eisenberg. I am sure that Jewish guests from all over the world will appreciate the distinctiveness of having a synagogue in a clinic.”

Rabbi Avichai Apel from Frankfurt, who is an executive board member of the Orthodox Rabbinical Conference Germany (ORD), the ceremonial opening of the Synagogue Eisenberg was both a moving and historic moment. “Today is a happy day for Germany and Thuringia,” he said, adding: “Especially in times like these — unsettled by a pandemic, war and growing antisemitism — the opening of the Synagogue Eisenberg is impressive proof that Jewish life is flourishing in this country and it plays an integral role in Germany and Europe despite the dark times of the past. Thanks to the Waldkliniken Eisenberg’s courageous initiative, today’s event not only sends a positive message from Germany, it also sends a message about the future of Jewish life in Europe. Europe’s newest synagogue is intended to serve as a place for peaceful, quiet moments and prayer as well as a place open to all for meeting and exchanging ideas, for learning more about and from one another and for dispelling prejudices.”

To Read The Full Story

Are you already a subscriber?
Click to log in!