PRIVATE GUIDED TOURs OF BERLIN’S JEWISH HERITAGE SITES
Were the Nazi goal of the total eradication of European Jewry realised, the varied and intricate life experiences of Berlin’s most notable minority would have perished too. Replaced, instead, with a crudely simplistic narrative affirming the merciless butchering of a pest. That the many identities of Berlin’s Jewish community have come to be commonly viewed through the lens of the genocidal actions of Hitler’s regime is a tragedy.
Once home to the father of the Jewish enlightenment, Moses Mendelsohn, and the world’s first female Rabbi – Berlin played a central role in the birth of modern reformed Judaism. From the influx of Viennese Jews in the 1700s to the arrival of thousands of Jewish immigrants from Soviet states in the 1970s and 90s, and more recent return of thousands of Israeli Jews; no single voice can be said to speak for the profusion of different denominations (Chabad, Masorti, Liberal, and Orthodox) and Jewish experiences in the city.
This is the story of the trials of identity and the struggle against being defined as ‘the other’.
Did you know that thousands upon thousands of young Israeli and American Jews have made a home for themselves in Berlin in recent years?
If that sounds surprising to you, we’d like to invite you for a tour that considers the history of Jewish life in Berlin in light of and beyond the Shoa; a history that now amounts to nearly 700 years.
We’ll consider antisemitism and assimilation as much as we will look at Jewish life in the affirmative: the fact that Berlin boasted one of the most diverse and vibrant Jewish communities in the world, whose members gained worldwide renown in science, arts, politics, and theology.
In the end, we hope you’ll agree that what was true in the 1920s is once again true today: that Berlin culture is inextricably connected to Jewish life in the city.
The length of this tour means that a short snack/coffee break (not included in the tour price) can be integrated into the route – or, if requested, a longer meal break.
– the former Jewish Quarter of Berlin (the Spandauer Vorstadt & Scheunenviertel Barn District)
– the Moorish-style Neue Synagoge
– the Addas Israel Orthodox Community Synagoge
– the Auschwitz/Birkenau Trees of Berlin
– the Grosse Hamburger Strasse (the Street of Tolerance and Death)
– the resting place of Jewish enlightenment philosopher Moses Mendelsohn
– the Jewish boy’s high school
– the first Jewish retirement home in Berlin
– a main deportation point for Jewish Berliners during the Nazi period
– the many Stolperstein brass remembrance plaques
– the Abandoned Room memorial
– Christian Boltanski’s Missing House
– the home of the world’s first female Rabbi
– the Otto Weidt Blindenwerkstatt
– the Rosenstrasse
– the Judenstrasse home of Berlin’s medieval Jewish community
All of our private tours are custom tailored to our clients needs and wishes and can include Berlin sights decided in advance or spontaneously organised on the day of the tour.
If you have any specific requests for your tour, regarding sights and content, do not hesitate to ask – you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to contact us via the contact box at the bottom of this page for a personalised offer.
Read some of the blog posts we have written that are relevant to our Jewish Heritage tours:
Although the first jewish grave in this region dates from 1244 in nearby Spandau (embedded in the wall of the Citadel), the first mention of jews in Berlin’s city documents is in an ordinance enacted on October 28th 1295 forbidding wool merchants from selling yarn to jews.
Consecrated in the presence of Prussian minister president and future German chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, the Neue Synagoge once served Berlin’s thriving Jewish community as one of the largest synagogues in the world.
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