Portrait: Josephus

23 November 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait Reading Time:  7 minutes

Josephus - Fictional portrait in William Whinston's English translation of 'Antiquitates'

Josephus – Fictional portrait in William Whinston’s English translation of ‘Antiquitates’

Titus Flavius Josephus was a first-century Romano-Jewish historian and military leader, best known for The Jewish War, who was born in Jerusalem—then part of Roman Judea—to a father of priestly descent and a mother who claimed royal ancestry.   read more…

Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City

9 November 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions Reading Time:  9 minutes

Entrance © flickr.com - Shaggy Paul/cc-by-2.0

Entrance © flickr.com – Shaggy Paul/cc-by-2.0

The Museum of Jewish Heritage, located in Battery Park City in Manhattan, New York City, is a living memorial to those murdered in the Holocaust. The museum has received more than 2 million visitors since opening in 1997. The mission statement of the museum is “to educate people of all ages and backgrounds about the broad tapestry of Jewish life in the 20th and 21st centuries — before, during, and after the Holocaust.” The museum’s building includes two wings: a six-sided building with a pyramid-shaped roof designed to evoke the memory of the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust, and the Robert M. Morgenthau Wing. The six-sided building, opened in 1997, contains the museum’s core exhibition galleries. The Morgenthau Wing, opened in 2003, contains the museum’s offices, theater, and classrooms, as well as the Irving Schneider and Family exhibition gallery. Both wings were designed by designed by Roche-Dinkeloo. The museum’s collection contains more than 30,000 objects relating to Jewish history and the Holocaust. These objects are used in a variety of exhibitions and installations.   read more…

Reconstruction of the Bornplatz synagogue in Hamburg

9 November 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Hamburg Reading Time:  15 minutes

Bornplatz synagogue in 1906, right after the opening © Knackstedt & Näther - Stiftung Historische Museen

Bornplatz synagogue in 1906, right after the opening © Knackstedt & Näther – Stiftung Historische Museen

The synagogue on Bornplatz in Hamburg‘s Grindelviertel was inaugurated in 1906 and was one of the largest synagogues in Germany. It served as the main synagogue for the German-Israelite Community (DIG). In the immediate vicinity, the building of the Talmud Torah School was erected in 1911. The synagogue was devastated during the Kristallnacht pogrom on 9 November 1938, set on fire shortly afterwards and the ruins were demolished in 1939 by the local Nazi regime at the expense of the Jewish community. Fifty years after the destruction, the former location was redesigned, and since then a floor mosaic has indicated the location of the synagogue. Since 2019, the Jewish community, the Central Council of Jews in Germany and several organizations have been working to rebuild the synagogue. In February 2020, an application for a feasibility study was unanimously accepted by the Hamburg Parliament. In November 2020, the budget committee of the Bundestag released 65 million euros for the restoration of the synagogue.   read more…

Hook of Holland in Rotterdam

13 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  12 minutes

© Mark Ahsmann/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Mark Ahsmann/cc-by-sa-3.0

Hook of Holland (Dutch: Hoek van Holland) is a town in the southwestern corner of Holland, hence the name; hoek means “corner” and was the word in use before the word kaap – “cape”, from Portuguese cabo – became Dutch. The English translation using Hook is a false cognate of the Dutch Hoek, but has become commonplace (in official government records in English, the name tends not to get translated and Hoek van Holland is used). It is located at the mouth of the New Waterway shipping canal into the North Sea. The town is administered by the municipality of Rotterdam as a district of that city and is about 25 km from the city’s centre; Hook of Holland is closer to The Hague, at about 15 km distance. Its district covers an area of 16.7 km², of which 13.92 km² is land. On 1 January 1999 it had an estimated population of 9,400. Hook of Holland already had a ward council in 1947. Hook of Holland has been a borough since 1973. In 2014 it was replaced by an ‘area committee’.   read more…

Essaouira on the Atlantic Ocean

8 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  14 minutes

© flickr.com - Visions of Domino/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – Visions of Domino/cc-by-2.0

Essaouira, known until the 1960s as Mogador, today the name of the island off the coast of the city, is a port city in the western Moroccan region of Marakesh-Safi, on the Atlantic coast. It has 77,966 inhabitants as of 2014. The foundation of the city of Essaouira was the work of the Moroccan ‘Alawid sultan Mohammed bin Abdallah, who made an original experiment by entrusting it to several renowned architects in 1760, in particular Théodore Cornut and Ahmed al-Inglizi, who designed the city using French captives from the failed French expedition to Larache in 1765, and with the mission of building a city adapted to the needs of foreign merchants. Once built, it continued to grow and experienced a golden age and exceptional development, becoming the country’s most important commercial port but also its diplomatic capital between the end of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century. The entire old town (Medina) of Essaouira was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2001.   read more…

Portrait: David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s founder and first Prime Minister

21 September 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait Reading Time:  10 minutes

David Ben-Gurion, 1968 © Fritz Cohen - National Photo Collection of Israel

David Ben-Gurion, 1968 © Fritz Cohen – National Photo Collection of Israel

David Ben-Gurion was the primary national founder of the State of Israel and the first Prime Minister of Israel. Adopting the name of Ben-Gurion in 1909, he rose to become the preeminent leader of the Jewish community in British-ruled Mandatory Palestine from 1935 until the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, which he led until 1963 with a short break in 1954–55.   read more…

70 years Luxembourg Agreement

10 September 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  16 minutes

Luxembourg City Hall © Cayambe/cc-by-sa-3.0

Luxembourg City Hall © Cayambe/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Reparations Agreement between Israel and the Federal Republic of Germany (“Luxembourg Agreement”, “Wiedergutmachungsabkommen” or “Reparations Agreement”) was signed on September 10, 1952, and entered in force on March 27, 1953. According to the Agreement, West Germany was to pay Israel for the costs of “resettling so great a number of uprooted and destitute Jewish refugees” after the war, and to compensate individual Jews, via the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, for losses in Jewish livelihood and property resulting from Nazi persecution.   read more…

Liebermann Villa in Berlin

1 September 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Berlin, House of the Month, Museums, Exhibitions Reading Time:  9 minutes

© flickr.com - Jean-Pierre Dalbéra/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – Jean-Pierre Dalbéra/cc-by-2.0

The Liebermann Villa is the former summer residence of the German painter Max Liebermann. It is located directly at the shores of Lake Wannsee in Berlin. It has been open to public since April 30, 2006 and shows a collection of Liebermann’s paintings of his villa and its garden. Max Liebermann (1847–1935) was co-founder and head of the Berlin Secession and head of the Prussian Academy of Arts (Preußische Akademie der Künste). He was dismissed by the Nazis in 1933 and banned. He painted about 200 paintings of the garden at his villa, some of which are exhibited in his former studio on the upper floor.   read more…

Theme Week Belarus – Minsk

30 July 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  21 minutes

Babrujskaja street © Viktar Palstsiuk/cc-by-sa-4.0

Babrujskaja street © Viktar Palstsiuk/cc-by-sa-4.0

Minsk is the capital and the largest city of Belarus, located on the Svislach and the now subterranean Niamiha rivers. As the capital, Minsk has a special administrative status in Belarus and is the administrative centre of Minsk Region (voblasć) and Minsk District (rajon). As of January 2021, its population was 2 million, making Minsk the 11th most populous city in Europe. Minsk is one of the administrative capitals of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). First documented in 1067, Minsk became the capital of the Principality of Minsk before being annexed by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1242. It received town privileges in 1499. From 1569, it was the capital of the Minsk Voivodeship, an administrative division of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. It was part of a region annexed by the Russian Empire in 1793, as a consequence of the Second Partition of Poland. From 1919 to 1991, after the Russian Revolution, Minsk was the capital of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, in the Soviet Union. In June 2019, Minsk hosted the 2019 European Games.   read more…

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