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The Society of German-Israeli Friendship Ingelheim e.V. (DIF)

The Society of German-Israeli Friendship Ingelheim e.V. (DIF) was founded in 1983. Since then it won friends and members, who engage themselves in German-Israeli relations.


Activities
Its task is to promote knowlegde and understanding about the special relations between Israel and Germany and its history. It will strengthen mutual tolerance between all cultures and promotes understanding between peoples.
Educational programs and exchange of people serve the aim

  • Deal with the history of both people and to promote peace and understanding and tolerance
  • Represent in Israel the democratic Germany by visiting with groups
  • Promote and intensify exchange between people of both nations, especially between young people
  • Cultivate exchange of thought by lectures and seminars

What we do
We organize

  • Exhibitions with Israeli artists,
  • Excursions to Israel with different emphasis,
  • Lectures, seminars, concerts,
  • seminars in cooperation with the Fridtjof-Nansen-Academy for Political Education in Ingelheim,
  • Promoting schools and Societies, who are interested in Israel,
  • the annual commemoration of the victims of the pogrome night of November 9th 1938 at the monument where the synagoge stood.

Membership
One can become an active or an promoting member.
Financial contribution is 5.- Euro per month, reduced 3.- Euro.


The Board

Chairman Klaus Dürsch, M.A.
Vice Chairman Lotan Sagi
Chief executive Hermann Kissel
Treasurer Susanne Krupka
Board members Helmut Fiedler, Rev. Helmut Huber, Samantha Schuck
Chairman of honor Hans-Georg Meyer
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Family Research

 Researchers gathered a lot of Information about the Jews of Ingelheim in the 19th and 20th centuary. There are four Jewish cemetaries with about 200 graves. They are quite well documented. At this moment, we are busy to prepare a more scientific documentation.
If  you look for information, please contact us.

The Synagogue of Ingelheim

Die Ingelheimer Synagoge 1930 Quelle: Ausschnitt aus Luftbild Nr. 10198 Ober-Ingelheim. Quelle: Strähle Luftbild
The destroyed Ingelheim synagogue 1930

The Synagogue of Ingelheim 1930, destructed on Nov. 10th 1938.

Aereal view No. 10198 Ober-Ingelheim, Strähle Luftbild

 

History

A synagogue has a threefold purpose as a place where people congregate, a house of learning, and a house of prayer.

From the 18th century on there existed a prayer room at a location in Ober-Ingelheim that has not yet been identified. However the first known plans to build a synagogue here date back to 1815.

On August 27, 1841, a newly constructed synagogue, located at the back of the property Stiegelgasse 25, was inaugurated. It combined typical elements of contemporary European architecture with oriental or Moorish elements, a style popular in synagogues of the time. Jewish communities in Germany still felt threatened and they were searching for an architectural style that would at once reflect their belonging to German society and their own religious identity.

On 10 November 1938 the Nazis of Ingelheim desecrated and destroyed this synagogue, which was then almost 100 years old. The ruin was abandoned and sold in 1939.

Description

Internal view of the Ingelheim Syngogue, built in  1841 and destructed in 1938.

Hans-Gerog Meyer got this photo from Lotte Moses, born Löwensberg, NJ, USA.

 

 

A gate led from the front building through a small garden to the actual synagogue. The façade, on the West side, was characterized by a three-part stepped gable wall with a decorative border and a large, round window at its centre. Below the window were the horseshoe-shaped twin-doors that served as the entrance for the men. On both sides were the entrances for the women, which led upstairs to the gallery. A fourth entrance was located on the South side. It was just to the right of this entrance that the organ stood; this was a standard feature of synagogues belonging to the Reform Movement of Judaism. A central aisle divided the simple, rectangular prayer room, with ten to twelve benches seating up to six people on either side.

In the East wall, the wall closest to Jerusalem, there was a richly decorated, semi-circular elevated niche for the Torah. Here the oriental style predominated with patterns of an oriental carpet painted on the lower half of the wall and a star-filled heaven on the upper half. In the centre of this niche, at the far end of the prayer room, two powerful double columns formed a horseshoe-shaped arch for the Torah Shrine. These columns supported a second horseshoe-shaped blind arch rising above the shrine, which served as the decorative frame for the two tablets of the Ten Commandments. To the left and right of the Tablets, on cornices, were two candelabras in oriental style. On either side of the shrine were two large standing candelabras. The children of the community sat on curved benches to the right and left of the Torah Shrine. The lectern where the Torah was read was placed in front of the Torah Shrine, as is the custom in synagogues of the Reform Tradition.

The Synagogue of Ingelheim was one of the larger early examples of the Oriental Style.Literatur:

Meyer, Hans-Georg / Mentgen Gerd: Sie sind mitten unter uns, Ingelheim 1998, p. 385ff.

Stefan Fischbach, Ingrid Westerhoff: Synagogen Rheinland-Pfalz – Saarland, Mainz 2005. Herausgegeben vom Landesamt für Denkmalpflege Rheinland-Pfalz mit dem Staatlichen Konservatoramt des Saarlandes und dem Synagogue Memorial Jerusalem.

The Memorial at the Synagogue Place.

Photo: Thomas Schmitt, 2007.

The Memorial

As a symbol of remembrance and as a warning, this concrete stele was erected next to the site where the synagogue once stood. Its pock-marked surface symbolizes the destruction and violation of the once intact Jewish Community of Ingelheim.

At the top of the stele two stars of David, one raised and the other sunk into the surface, sym-bolize the bright and dark periods in the history of the Jewish People. A stone taken from Mount Sinai is embedded in the concrete at the base of the stele, as a symbol and sign of respect for Jewish tradition. In close dialogue with this stone there are limestone building fragments taken from the area of Rheinhessen, symbolizing the region that was home to the Jews of Ingelheim.

In the year 1992, pupils of the Sebastian-Münster High School and the German Israeli Society of Friends in Ingelheim erected this stele.