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Germany: 'New Synagogue' of Frankfurt Börneplatz inauguration medal, 1882
Item code: 0130982

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Germany > Frankfurt: Inauguration medal of the "New Synagogue" of Frankfurt at Börneplatz, 1882; struck in pewter (possibly with silver patina); by Louis Dietrich; size: 35.5mm; thickness: 4.25mm; weight: 22.2g.

Obverse is impressed into the planchet and depicts a relief image of the corner of the Synagogue with its hallmark domed spire, enclosed by a roped frame, with Hebrew legend around edge (excerpt of the prayer "Ma Tovu", which is uttered when entering a Synagogue: "How goodly are your tents, O Jacob, your dwellings, O Israel!"); medallist's name appears along the base edge of the image.

On reverse 8 lines of text in German: "Zur Erinnerung | An Die | Einweihung | der | Neuen Synagoge | D[ie] 10.Sept | 1882 | Frankfurt A[m]/M[ain]". The inauguration took place three days before Rosh HaShana (Jewish New Years) holiday on the 13th.

This Synagogue was located in the Jewish Ghetto (Frankfurter Judengasse) specifically on Bornestrasse, where the Orthodox Jews lived was contructed partially as a response to the city's growing trend of Reform Judaism.

The structure was designed by the Frankfurt architect Siegfried Kusnitzky and the cornerstone was laid at a ceremony on 31 January 1881, led by the Frankfurt community's Rabbi, Markus Horovitz (1844-1910; succeeded by Rabbi Nehemia Tzvi Anton Nobel), who promoted coexistence between the community's rival Reform movement and the Orthodox faction of Rabbi Hirsch (who went on to found the Yeshurun/"Israelitische Religionsgesellschaft" community).

The Synagogue was known variously as the Horovitz Synagogue or the Börneplatzsynagoge and Hebrew literature describes the congregation iself as the "general congregation" (rather than the 'Orthodox' congregation); it was expanded in 1901 but destroyed during Kristallnacht in 1938. The obscure engraver of this token has other period privately commissioned commemorative tokens to his credit though this piece is highlighted by the Jewish Encyclopedia (pg. 401).

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