The Jewish Museum

The Jewish Museum set up on two floors inside the Synagogue completes and enriches the visit to the monumental Synagogue. It’s an amazing collection of ancient objects of Jewish Ceremonial Art, examples of the high artistic value of the Jewish Italian culture in the field of applied arts. The museum tour retraces the history of the Jews of Florence from the first settlements to the post-war reconstruction with the help of photographic panels, videos and documentary sources.
On the first floor of the museum you will find an extraordinary exhibition from the 1981, “Friends of the Jewish Museum of Florence” which offers an historic overview of the Jewish community in Florence. Thanks to a photographic collection of documents, you will discover the history of the old ghetto and its relationship with the rest of the city.
The second-floor is dedicated to the objects and the furnishings related to the most significant events in the Jewish life, family rituals and religious festivities. One room is in memory of the Holocaust and equipped for film projections. The public can access a computer area which is linked up with the main Jewish museums and centres around the world. The second floor of the museum has limited wheelchair access: upon exiting the lift, there is a slightly sloped platform, and two flights of steps (5 and 8 steps respectively) which can be used with a chairlift (which must be operated by a companion).

The Synagogue of Florence

The Synagogue of Florence is a great monumental building, a place of worship and integral part of the history of the city. The Synagogue was inaugurated in 1882, after the emancipation of Italian Jews and decentralized from the area of the old Jewish Ghetto which was demolished in the last decade of the 19th century. In the period in which Florence became the Capital City of the Kingdom of Italy, between 1865 and 1870, the Synagogue became a symbol of the acquired freedom characterized by its green copper dome and its façade. Inside you will feel a very impressive atmosphere typical of the oriental taste of the European monumental synagogues built in the late 19th century. Thanks to its monumental architecture, the Synagogue stands out and affirms the integration of the community within civil society, and the achievement of equal rights.

Jewish Museum of Rome

A first exhibition space was created in 1960, and has been expanded and renewed several times since. A complete scientific overhaul ended in 2005 led to its current organisation, in the basement of the Tempio Maggiore.
The museum describes the history and nature of the Jewish presence in Rome, using testimonies and witnesses: liturgical furnishings, manuscripts, incunabula, historical documents and stone fragments. It focuses on the artistic quality and extent of the collection of ceremonial art passed down from the Cinque Scole, a collection built up over the centuries thanks to donations by families wishing to demonstrate their bond with the synagogue they belonged to.
The exhibition itinerary will take visitors through seven rooms, labelled according to their content and main themes: “La guardaroba dei tessuti” (“The fabric wardrobe”), “Da Judaei a Giudei: Roma e i suoi Ebrei” (“From the Judaei to Judeans: Rome and its Jews” – the settlement, from their origins to the establishment of the ghetto), “Feste dell’anno, feste della vita” (“Feasts of the year, feasts of life”), “I tesori delle Cinque Scole” (“The treasures of the Cinque Scole”), “Vita e Sinagoghe nel ghetto” (“Life and Synagogues in the Ghetto”), “Dall’Emancipazione a oggi” (“From Emancipation to the present day”), and “L’ebraismo libico” (“Libyan Jewry”). The outer space in front of the entrance houses the “Gallery of Antique Marbles”, with important stone artefacts dating from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, from the Cinque Scole and the Confraternities of the Ghetto.
The Museum has also an access for wheelchair users and includes a guided tour of the Tempio Maggiore and the Tempio Spagnolo.
There is a Bookshop selling books and souvenirs close to the ticket office.

Spanish Temple – Tempio Spagnolo

A small Sephardic (Spanish) rite temple is in the basement of the Tempio Maggiore. This is a legacy of the ghetto’s Scole, where versions of this rite were observed. Originally located elsewhere, it was transferred here in 1932. The furnishings of the Cinque Scole restored and brought here In 1948.
The hall has an elongated rectangular shape and the bi-focal layout of the Ghetto Scole: the Aron and tevah face each other at the centre of opposite walls – in this case along the longer sides -, while the pews are arranged to face them.
The Aron in polychrome marble comes from Scola Nova; the original tympanum had to be removed because of the height of the ceiling, and at its sides the seats belonging to the tripartite structure of the Aron from Scola Catalana made between 1622 and 1628. The tevah comes from the Scola Castigliana: it was donated in 1851, and is the last, large marble item purposely made for the Cinque Scole.

Great Synagogue of Rome -Tempio Maggiore

The imposing building of Tempio Maggiore (The Great Synagogue of Rome) stands on one of the four large blocks put up after the ghetto had been demolished.
Its monumental proportions symbolize the new-found freedom and citizenship rights granted to the Roman Jewish community that had been living in the city for twenty-two centuries.
The building was designed by Vincenzo Costa and Osvaldo Armanni, and inaugurated in 1904. Their choices in style led to an eclectic architecture, with Greek-inspired elements that were felt to be in keeping with the shape of the main local monuments, a style influenced by Assyrian-Babylonian motifs .
The building has a Greek cross plan with a segmented dome above, clearly visible in every panoramic view of the city.
Inside, long rows of pews face the polygonal apse at the end of the hall where a ceremonial raised space enclosed by a balustrade connects the tevah to the Aron. The Aron stands out against a splendid polychrome background with its imposing aedicule structure, with white Assyrian-style columns, friezes and gilded arabesques, and the high tympanum culminating with the Tables of the Law.
The women’s galleries overlook three sides of the hall, and are supported by rows of columns and framed by four large central pillars holding the dome up.
Fine marble furnishings from Cinque Scole (demolished in 1908) are at the top-end of the side aisle in the Temple. The pieces date from the 16th -17th centuries.

Alsacien Museum of Strasbourg

A memory of Judaism in Alsace. A unique collection, testimony to rural and ancient communities, displayed from the very beginning in the museum.
The Musée Alsacien has one of the most important collections of Judaica in Europe, thanks in particular to the special link established in 1907 with the “Société d’histoire des Israélites d’Alsace et de Lorraine (SHIAL)”. This society, created by Rabbi Moïse Ginsburger in 1905, initially aimed to collect and preserve documents and objects related to the history of the Jews of the region, so that they would remain in Alsace rather than be sent to Berlin, the capital of the German Empire to which Alsace belonged at this time.

In 1907, the SHIAL was tasked by the founders of the Alsatian Museum to create a collection of Judaica for the museum newly opened to the public. The Society collected and placed objects, which today represent nearly 400 items, in addition to the museum’s own acquisitions. This partnership, which is more than a century old, shows that from the beginning this project to report on the Alsatian identity fully integrates the Jewish communities. This approach has continued throughout the history of the Musée Alsacien: acquisitions, publications and also presentations. Thus, the Judaica are not confined to the “religions and beliefs” section, but are integrated, along with the other religions of the concordat (Protestantism/Catholicism, Judaism), into the presentation of the different ages of life and into temporary exhibitions.
The donation of the Genizah of Dambach-la-Ville has enriched the Alsatian Museum both digitally (900 items) and scientifically, and it now possesses one of the most important collections of mappot in the world, including several from the 17th century. This exceptional collection was unveiled to the public at the “Héritage inespéré” exhibition in October 2016.

http://judaisme.sdv.fr/today/musals/galerie.ht

Alsacien Museum of Strasbourg

A memory of Judaism in Alsace. A unique collection, testimony to rural and ancient communities, displayed from the very beginning in the museum.
The Musée Alsacien has one of the most important collections of Judaica in Europe, thanks in particular to the special link established in 1907 with the “Société d’histoire des Israélites d’Alsace et de Lorraine (SHIAL)”. This society, created by Rabbi Moïse Ginsburger in 1905, initially aimed to collect and preserve documents and objects related to the history of the Jews of the region, so that they would remain in Alsace rather than be sent to Berlin, the capital of the German Empire to which Alsace belonged at this time.

In 1907, the SHIAL was tasked by the founders of the Alsatian Museum to create a collection of Judaica for the museum newly opened to the public. The Society collected and placed objects, which today represent nearly 400 items, in addition to the museum’s own acquisitions. This partnership, which is more than a century old, shows that from the beginning this project to report on the Alsatian identity fully integrates the Jewish communities. This approach has continued throughout the history of the Musée Alsacien: acquisitions, publications and also presentations. Thus, the Judaica are not confined to the “religions and beliefs” section, but are integrated, along with the other religions of the concordat (Protestantism/Catholicism, Judaism), into the presentation of the different ages of life and into temporary exhibitions.
The donation of the Genizah of Dambach-la-Ville has enriched the Alsatian Museum both digitally (900 items) and scientifically, and it now possesses one of the most important collections of mappot in the world, including several from the 17th century. This exceptional collection was unveiled to the public at the “Héritage inespéré” exhibition in October 2016.

http://judaisme.sdv.fr/today/musals/galerie.ht

Kitaevskaya Synagogue

Kitaevskaya synagogue was built in 1874. It is located in the historical center of Minsk – the Trinity Suburb. This prayer house belonged to the Koidanov Hasidim, but after specific events the building was transferred to the National Historical Museum of Belarus as an exhibition hall.

Image credit: The Together Plan – subject to copyright ©

Great Patriotic War Museum

The Belarusian State Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War is the first museum in the world dedicated to the bloodiest war of the 20th century, and the only one in Belarus, created during the Nazi occupation in 1944. The museum has an area dedicated to partisans, and a small part of the exhibition is dedicated to the Holocaust.

Photo credit: Adam Jones, Ph.D. / Global Photo Archive / Flickr.

Minsk Holocaust Workshop

Minsk History Workshop is an educational and research center that deals with the themes of the Holocaust and World War II. By studying history for the future, the workshop contributes to reconciliation between Germany and Belarus, as well as preserves the memory, engages in education and research on the themes of the Minsk ghetto and the Trostenets memorial complex.

Image credit: The Together Plan – subject to copyright ©; Adam Jones, Ph.D. / Global Photo Archive / Flickr.