New Synagogue in Dessau

Wednesday, 17 January 2024 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
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© M H.DE/cc-by-sa-4.0

© M H.DE/cc-by-sa-4.0

The New Synagogue, also known as the Weill Synagogue, is a Jewish place of worship in the city center of Dessau. It is the first newly built synagogue in the state of Saxony-Anhalt since German reunification.

The previous building, the Old Synagogue on the corner of Kantorstrasse and Askanische Strasse in the Sandvorstadt south of the city center, about 300 meters from the Dessau town hall, was set on fire during the November pogroms on November 9, 1938 and was demolished shortly afterwards at the expense of the Jewish community . Jewish life in Dessau came to a standstill. During the GDR era it was largely ignored; only a few Jews lived in the city. It was only on August 1, 1994 that mainly immigrants from the successor states of the former Soviet Union (including 80% from Ukraine) founded a formal Jewish community in Dessau, which belongs to the State Association of Jewish Communities in Saxony-Anhalt and in 2023 had around 300 members (plus around 130 family members).

In 2015, the Kurt Weill Foundation commissioned an initial study for a new synagogue with a community center in the same location. It complements the neighboring cantor’s house (rabbi‘s house), built in 1908 and now a listed building, where the Dessau-born composer Kurt Weill spent some of his childhood years. His father Albert Weill was cantor of the Jewish community.

During opening ceremony © M H.DE/cc-by-sa-4.0 Kantorhaus/Rabbinerhaus © M H.DE/cc-by-sa-4.0 © M H.DE/cc-by-sa-4.0 During opening ceremony © M H.DE/cc-by-sa-4.0
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During opening ceremony © M H.DE/cc-by-sa-4.0
The building was built according to the plans of the Alfred Jacoby architectural office from Frankfurt am Main. Jacoby was a professor at Anhalt University for years and designed numerous synagogues. At the end of 2017, around 90% of the members of the Dessau Jewish community were in favor of his round building as a simplified version of the initial draft. The Dessau architectural office of Anne Sommer and Dieter Bankert made another design.

The symbolic laying of the foundation stone took place on November 8, 2019. The building permit was issued on November 19, 2020, and completion was delayed several times. The topping out ceremony was celebrated in February 2022. On October 22, 2023, the new synagogue was inaugurated in the presence of Chancellor Olaf Scholz, State Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff, Vice President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany Mark Dainow and Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor.

Read more on lv-sachsen-anhalt.de – Jüdische Gemeinde zu Dessau and Wikipedia Neue Synagoge Dessau (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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