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Germany: inauguration plaquette New 'Yeshurun' Synagogue Frankfurt, 1907
Item code: 0131012

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Germany > Frankfurt: uniface inauguration plaquette of the New "Yeshurun" Synagogue in Frankfurt (on Friedberger Anlage), 1907; cast in bronze; by Karl Goetz; size: 49.5mm x 61.75mm; weight: 60.85g.

The medal depicts an image of the new Synagogue building shown within the columns of an ornate Moorish-looking gateway. The German legend at top reads "Neue Synagoge der Jsr.[aelitichen] Religionsges.[ellschaft] zu Frankfurt A[m] M[ain]" ("The new Synagogue of the Jewish Community of Frankfurt am Main"); below in Hebrew, within the arch the legend reads "Beit Tefila Yeshurun".

Along the bottom edge are two lines of text, in German and in Hebrew: in German, "Eingeweiht am 29 August 1907" ("Inaugurated...") and in Hebrew "Yom Hey Yud-Tet Elul Shnat [unclear] Makom Ohalekha Kahal Adat Yeshurun LP''H" ("The Fifth Day of the week [Thursday] 19th of [the month of] Elul in the Year of [unclear but not the year "5667"] in the Place of Your Tent, Congregation of Adat Jeshurun" - the abbreviated Hebrew letters at the end indicate a shorthand for the Hebrew year which omits the use of the letter for "thousand"). Karl Goetz's name is imprinted on the rim.

In the literature of Jewish Synagogues in Germany, the one commemorated here is relatively obscure(and sometimes confused with the real "New Main Synagogue" of Frankfurt - see item 0130982 above) though its Rabbinical leadership is well documented.

The inauguration ceremony in 1907 was for the expansion of the existing community whose original Synagogue "Beit Tefilat Yeshurun" (House of Worship "Yeshurun") was founded in 1852 (see item 0130989 above); on the same day, 29 August 1907, the community celebrated both a farewell prayer service as well an inauguration service for the new building (the parting service consisted of psalms, the afternoon 'Minchah' service, a farewell speech from the Rabbis, and a choral rendition, ending with the "Adon Olam" prayer - see "Programm für den Abschiedsgottesdienst" 1907).

The "Yeshurun" community was founded by Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, a proponent of the 'contemporary' stream of Orthodox Judaism (which opposed the reformist movements but also opposed Political Zionism, seeing Zionism as a means but not an end in and of itself). In 1851 he led a separatist faction of the Orthodox Community and formed the Yeshurun community in Frankfurt; in 1890 he was succeeded by Rabbi Salomon Breuer.

The new Yeshurun Synagogue, with 2000 seats was the largest Synagogue in Frankfurt until it was destroyed during Kristallnacht in 1938.

The designer of the plaque, Karl Goetz, is noteworthy for his large portfolio of satirical medals from the period of the First World War and into the Weimar Republic era; though he also executed pieces for the government during the Third Reich Goetz's earlier works also attacked anti-Semitism. His work here displays clear and correct Hebrew lettering (unlike the work of many of his non-Hebrew speaking contemporaries).

מילות מפתח: מדליה מדליות בתי כנסת כנסיות יהודיות יודאיקה יודאיכה גרמניה