Application for UNESCO World Heritage

Since 09.11.11 Speyer has a Synagogue again. Jewish life has now officially returned to a town that was previously one of the most important Jewish communities in Europe. The National Socialists destroyed the old Synagogue 73 years ago - on 9 November 1938 – now known as “The Night of Broken Glass”. The German Federal President, Christian Wulff, and the Minister-President of Rhineland-Palatinate, Kurt Beck, were among the 250 invited guests of honor to take part in the official ceremony. The foundation stone for the new Synagogue, named “Beith-Schalom” (House of Peace), was laid three years ago. The Synagogue itself was formerly a disused Church building.


The Hebrew word “Schum” not only means “garlic” – it is also an acronym for the towns of Speyer, Worms and Mainz, which developed to Jewish seats of learning in the Middle Ages. It was here, from the 10th until the 13th century, that the teachings and laws which form the basis of the lives and rituals of Jewish people from London via New York to Australia, were established. 

In the past, a vibrant Jewish community thrived in these towns lining the river Rhine. Having borne witness to the birth of such historic traditions, the three “Schum” towns of Speyer, Worms and Mainz, are planning to apply for Unesco World Heritage site status in the autumn of 2012.

Jewish Cemetery “Heiliger Sand”, Worms
New Synagogue, Speyer
Jewish Baths, “Mikwe”, Speyer
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