Jewish France: JN1’s Jordana Miller explores the history of Europe’s largest Jewish community
I’m here in the Marais, the historic Jewish neighborhood of Paris. You may be surprised to know that Jews have been living in France for more than sixteen hundred years. It’s one of the oldest diaspora communities. Over the centuries, pogroms, expulsions, legal discriminations and the Holocaust failed to destroy this community which continued to grow, adapt and find its place in French society. Today there are more than 500,000 French Jews, that’s the largest group in Europe. Join me for a special report as we look at this community’s history, its many faces and the future challenges.
Simon Schama’s ‘The Story of the Jews’: BBC Jewish series proves popular at Cannes festival
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HZ Hun Synagogue 2011 News
This architecturally interesting synagogue is the second largest in the world and is a living memorial to the hundreds of thousands of Jews from Hungary who died during the holocaust.
It s also a reminder of the huge importance Jewish culture has played in Eastern Europe.
When the Great Synagogue was inaugurated on September 6 1859 Jews had not yet achieved full civil rights in Austro-Hungary yet it was one of the biggest ever Jewish houses of worship.
Unusually it boasts twin towers outside and is constructed on an asymmetric plot.
It s called the Dohany street Synagogue after the street it s in but it is also known as the Great Synagogue.
This 151 year old building was constructed in the centre of the city on the Pest side of the river.
It can hold up to five thousand people – three thousand seated the rest standing.
As Szabolcs Borbely an art historian explains the key architect behind the synagogue s design was neither Jewish nor Hungarian
As the architecture it s so important to know that the architect of the synagogue was a German born Christian architect. His name was Ludwig Forster. He was born in Germany but in that time in the 1850s when the building was made he was working in Vienna. He was the chief architect of the city of Vienna. But the guy he was a Christian. He usually was building churches and not synagogues. So this is the reason why also from the outside we have the towers. The towers are not usual for a synagogue. We don t need the towers but for a church its a very common thing. And not just on the outside also the interior part. The interior part has several elements came obviously from the Christian architecture. I mean we have the three aisles the basilican shape downstairs. Then we have the pulpits which is a very unique thing for a synagogue. We have two of them a pair of pulpits.
This masterpiece of 19th century architecture is also influenced by Muslim architecture that draws upon Moorish designs.
Major events have taken place here including the 1000th anniversary of the Hungarian Conquest in May 1896.
Nowadays tourists flock here to marvel at the building s magnificence as well as watching events such as Klezmer concerts.
But on Jewish High Holidays the synagogue is not open to visitors.
The only other synagogue that can touch this for size is in New York This is the second largest synagogue in the world after the New York s Emanu-El Temple. And this is the largest synagogue here in Europe. And you know its not about the seat numbers because we have 3000 seats here but in Jerusalem there is a synagogue the Belz Beit synagogue in the central of the city which can host more than 6000 people. But this is not the reason. The reason is the inner space. We have more then a 1000 square meters more then 10.000 square feet as the inner space of the synagogue. So that s why it s so special. says Borbely.
During World War II the synagogue was used as a concentration camp where Jews were herded together be
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Today’s Best Bet
Encore screening of “Life in Stills,” 7:30 p.m., Mandel JCC Stonehill Auditorium, 26001 S. Woodland Road, Beachwood. $6. 800-838-3006 or www.mandeljcc.org/filmfest.
B’nai mitzvah – week of Nov. 1
Ariel Cohen, Saturday morning, Suburban Temple-Kol Ami
Bradley Jacob Gilbert, Saturday evening, Park Synagogue
David Gold, Saturday morning, Congregation Shaarey Tikvah
Sophie Greff, Saturday evening, Jewish Family Experience at the John Carroll University Green Road Annex
Morgan Wynne Kahn, Saturday morning, Beth Israel-The West Temple
Evie Rose Krislov, Saturday morning, B’nai Jeshurun Congregation
Ally Marchewitz, Saturday afternoon, The Temple-Tifereth Israel in Beachwood
Jake Marchewitz, Saturday afternoon, The Temple-Tifereth Israel in Beachwood
Daniel Myeroff, Saturday morning, Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple
Jack Newman, Saturday morning, Park Synagogue
Dylan Siegler, Saturday evening, Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple
Click here to read the complete b’nai mitzvah listings at cjn.org.This Day in History
1993: Galgalatz, an Israeli radio station operated by Israel Defense Forces Radio, began broadcasting this morning.