Jewish Culture and History in Thuringia

Nine centuries of Jewish life

Thuringia uniquely combines a great architectural heritage with a long Jewish history that is still alive today. A discovery tour leads to Erfurt and the unique ensemble of synagogue, mikvah and treasure. But also to unexpected cultural treasures in smaller communities that tell of diverse Jewish stories in rural areas. It is a journey through several centuries - beginning in the Middle Ages, through the 19th century to the present day - which shows that in Thuringia, Jewish life and Jewish culture in all its diversity and vibrancy have a home not only in museums, but also in the here and now.


In 2021, the Free State celebrates a very special anniversary: 900 years of Jewish heritage in Thuringia. High-profile exhibitions, events and concerts provide the appropriate setting for remembering together and celebrating together. But the sites of remembrance also play a major role in the anniversary year.

Außenansicht der Alten Synagoge Erfurt
Hidden treasures of all sizes

Happy moments

Every year, we go on a short trip together. A mini-break over the weekend, just my husband and I – all alone. We’ve never been to Erfurt before - I'm curious to find out what we'll discover on a weekend. Our way leads us to the city's landmarks, such as the Krämerbrücke and the Erfurt Cathedral. But also to the Old Synagogue. And so we immerse ourselves in the 900-year-old Jewish culture in this city.
App Thuringia.MyCulture.

Life in the Middle Ages - Jewish cultural heritage in Thuringia

For 1,700 years, Jewish life has been intertwined with German history – in Thuringia it has been more than 900 years. In 2021, Thuringia is celebrating this anniversary with high-profile exhibitions, events and concerts. We take a trip to Erfurt to see its remarkable ensemble of a Jewish synagogue, mikveh and treasure. But our journey also includes unexpected cultural gems in smaller towns that tell the many varied stories of Jewish life in rural areas. We’ll take you on a very special tour of discovery that you can undertake safely and securely from the comfort of your own home. How does it work? We’ll show you!
Manchmal überdauern einzigartige Kulturschätze an unerwarteten Orten: In dem kleinen Dorf Berkach (Landkreis: Schmalkalden-Meiningen) gibt es neben dieser Synagoge auch noch eine Mikwe, die ehemalige jüd. Dorfschule und einen Friedhof.
Cultural wealth, everyday life, persecution

Jewish life in the Middle Ages and in the 19th century

For many centuries there was a continuity of Jewish life in Thuringia. Unique artefacts and treasures bear witness of its cultural wealth. The first Jewish communities in Central Germany were founded in the Middle Ages.
Krämerbrücke
Expeditions into Jewish life in a city

Gems of Jewish culture in Erfurt

Exciting city history, found treasure, and a medieval community: expeditions into jewish life in Erfurt
Rabbiner Alexander Nachama in der Neuen Synagoge in Erfurt
Words for the anniversary year "900 years jewish life in Thuringia"

Jewish Life today: Hopes, thoughts and commemoration

“The great architectural heritage and long history of the Jewish community in Erfurt are quite extraordinary,” says Rabbi Alexander Nachama, who has been leading the community of the New Synagogue in Max-Cars-Platz since autumn of 2018.  Prof. Dr. Reinhard Schramm, Chairman of the Jewish Community of Thuringia, talks about his hopes for the anniversary, the wealth of Jewish life in Thuringia, and the dangers of resurging nationalism.

Jewish Life in Thuringia

In the medieval old town of Erfurt there is a wealth of evidence of Jewish culture in everyday life and in community life. The discovery of the Erfurt Treasure in 1998 added a missing piece of the puzzle to the reconstruction of the city's Jewish history. Today, sites - including the Erfurt Treasure with its famous wedding ring - from various centuries can be explored. Exhibitions and events throughout Thuringia invite visitors to experience Jewish culture.

 

Events