Restart and unexpected flourishing

In 1945 only about 20 members of the re-established Jewish community headed by Max Cars had been part of the pre-war synagogue community, but their numbers were augmented by incomers from other regions, mostly from Eastern Europe. At the same time many were emigrating to the newly emergent state of Israel. On 31 August 1952 the New Synagogue was inaugurated on the site of the destroyed Great Synagogue. This is where community life and worship take place today: Since 1990 the Erfurt community has enjoyed an influx of members, mostly from the states of the former Soviet Union. Today the Jewish Community of Thuringia has around 800 members.

Smartly dressed man with throwing a prayer shawl over his head and shoulders

The Jewish community

Today the Jewish Community of Thuringia has around 800 members, about 500 of whom live in Erfurt. The chairperson of the religious community is Professor Reinhard Schramm. Konstantin Pal has been the community’s rabbi since 2010.

Facade of the New Synagogue

The New Synagogue

The New Synagogue was the only newly built synagogue in the GDR and was erected in 1952 on the site of the Great Synagogue, which was burnt down by the National Socialists in 1938. Today it is the centre of congregational life. Worship takes place here.

Diverse gravestones lined up on a meadow surrounded by trees

The New Jewish Cemetery

The cemetery was laid out in the late 19th century and serves the Jewish Community of Thuringia as a burial site.

Black and white photograph of the Grand Synagogue building from the late 19th century, with cupola The Great Synagogue  The splendid Great Synagogue, inaugurated in 1884, was burnt down by the National Socialists in 1938.

The Great Synagogue

The splendid Great Synagogue, inaugurated in 1884, was burnt down by the National Socialists in 1938.