New Synagogue Berlin - Centrum Judaicum Foundation

Taking up the tradition of the New Synagogue, the New Synagogue Berlin - Centrum Judaicum Foundation sees itself as a link connecting the past and the future. With this in mind, Centrum Judaicum has the task to assemble and address the history of the Jews in and around Berlin. It seeks to recall the achievements of the Jewish people and preserve the memory of the Jews who were murdered. Relevant documents are archived, evaluated and published.

In this context, the foundation works with other Jewish and non-Jewish institutions. In addition to the permanent exhibition, temporary exhibitions serve to make Jewish history concrete and tangible.

The Centrum Judaicum is a source of information on Jewish life, and by formulating Jewish positions on the concerns of our time it acts as a bridge between East and West European Jewry.

The New Synagogue was consecrated on the Jewish New Year, in 1866. The New Synagogue, with its 3,200 seats, became the largest Jewish house of worship in Germany. Services in the New Synagogue were conducted according to the so-called New Rites and Practices, the most important indication of which was the installation of an organ. Such reforms of the service were part of the process of Jewish assimilation.

The well-known architect Eduard Knoblauch (1801-1865) found inspiration for his design in the Moorish style of the Alhambra in Granada. The dome, covered with gilded buttresses and more than 50 meters in height, was acclaimed beyond the borders of Germany for its application of the most modern construction technology.

In the Pogrom of November 1938 ("Kristallnacht"), the New Synagogue was spared major damage. During the Second World War, however, it was severely damaged by Allied bombing. In 1958 the main room of the synagogue was demolished. Only the parts of the building closest to the street remained structurally intact.

In May 1995 the building was reopened with the permanent exhibition, "Open ye the Gates".

The permanent exhibition of the New Synagogue Berlin - Centrum Judaicum Foundation traces the history of the building and the lives connected with it. Very little has survived that could tell us something about the building. However, some architectural fragments and remnants of the interior furnishings were recovered from the ruins of the historical building prior to its restoration. These form the main part of the exhibition.

The various displays and documents give an impression of how diverse Jewish life was in this part of Berlin. Visitors on a guided tour are permitted to enter the open space behind the restored parts of the building. Here one can gain an impression of the immensity of the former main room of the synagogue.

Address & Contact

Stiftung Neue Synagoge Berlin - Centrum Judaicum

Oranienburger Str. 28-30
10117 Berlin
Tel.: (0 30) 88 02 8-300
Fax: (0 30) 28 21 17 6

Send a message