Shalom Europa - The Idea/Concept
Albrecht Fuerst zu Castell-Castell, Max Ansbacher, Rabbiner Jakov Ebert, Dr. Josef Schuster – with the symbolic key to the new building.
Jacob Z. Schuster- Treasurer (left) and Dr.George Ban - CEO R.S. Lauder Foundation (right)with Dr. Josef Schuster (center)
Among the participants of the ceremonies in the David-Schuster-Saal of the Jewish Community Wuerzburg and Unterfranken from leftae: Regierungspraesident Dr. Paul Beinhofer, Staatsminister Eberhard Sinner, Frau Glos, Bundesminister Michael Glos, Frau Schuster, Dr. Josef Schuster, Frau Stoiber, Ministerpräsident Dr. Edmund Stoiber, Praesidentin Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland Charlotte Knobloch, Landesbischof Johannes Friedrich, Archpriest Apostolos Malamousis, Jacob Z. Schuster (Treasurer Ronald S. Lauder Foundation)
Shalom Europa – Jüdisches Museum
Valentin-Becker-Str. 11, 97072 Würzburg
Informationen unter Tel. 0931/40 41 441, 0931/40 41 40
Information under + 44 (0) 931 40414-0.
Culture always implies remembering. Remembering a common past creates trust, orientation and hope. This again creates legitimacy and authority. Last not least one’s own and distinct identity thus find an anchor. The Jewish Community in Wuerzburg, with its Judensteine aus der Pleich, rests on such a „cultural memory”. In the 19th century Wuerzburg again became a European focus. The „Wuerzburger Rav”, Rabbi Seligmann Baer Bamberger resisted the waves of Jewish reformism. He represented a special orthodoxy resisting invitations such as from the influential Frankfurt Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch to leave the community of reforming Jews and to open separate communities. Since Seligmann Baer Bamberger this „Wuerzburg Ortnodolxy“ has found its respected place in Jewish tradtion worldwide..
Memories like these are the guides through a unique museum right next to the deposit of old medieval gravestones. The „Judensteine aus der Pleich“ are not just be displays within the concept of a normal museum. Nor are they elements of yet just another memorial site. Jews and non-Jews alike are to see and understand the orthodox substance of Jewishness. The 1513 gravestones and stone fragments were discovered on a building site in 1987 in Wuerzburg. These stones originating from 1148 to 1346 are the largest find from a medieval Jewish graveyard worldwide. The stones stored next to the museum under under inner courtyard of the buildung are thus physically and symbollically the foundation of Shalom Europa.
Traditional values provide the measure for showing hitsorical continuity. It is more important to use video-recorders and holograms as vehicles for such messages than silver kiddush cups. With the Judensteine as common link most modern display techniques are being be used to show Jewish life of to-day as well as in its traditional context. Such a Jewish „Erlebnishaus“ is a „first” in Europe.
The clear and well defined structure of the museum allows for an easy understandig of its contents. The museum shows the complete canon of Jewish values. - from demonstrating the written and oral Torah tradition to life and feasts in the course of a Jewish year.
Mehr als 75 ehrenamtliche Museumsführer helfen beim Verstehen des jüdischen Lebens
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Jewish traditions meet at Shalom Europa and through the work of the Lauder Chorev Center - tradition from Israel and Germany, from Eastern Europe and America, from the past and the present.
Shortly after the borders towards the East were open again the American philantropist Ronald S. Lauder set up a foundation (www.rslauderfoundation.org) with the aim to help Jews in Eastern Europe who for a long time had been cut off from Jewish knowledge and Jewish learning to regain their Jewish spirituality. To-day the foundation is active in more than 30 European cities running or supporting schools, nurseries, youth centers and conference centers. In Germany the foundation is active, apart from Wuerzburg, with projects in Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Leipzig and Osnabrueck
In Wuerzburg the Lauder Chorev Seminar Center started to organize Sabbath courses as well as summer and winter seminars in 2000, at first in the building which until the Shoa used to be the Jewish Old People’s Home. To-day the new facilities include overnight accommodation for up to 90 people, a new kosher kitchen, an extended synagogue and a remodeled Mikwe. This offers the chance to experience Jewish tradition in an adequate modern environment. At the same time the largest accumulation of medieval Jewish gravestones in the basement of the building are a chance to be confronted with the rich history of a Jewish community and to help transform this history into the present.