Romania > Bucharest: Achdut Kodesh/Unirea Sfanta Synagogue centennary commemorative medal, 1936; struck in gilded bronze(?); not maker-marked; size: 37.5mm; weight: 20.7g.
On obverse, the façade of the "Achdut Kodesh" Synagoge with legend and dates in Hebrew "Achdut Kodesh [Holy Union / Holy Brotherhood] | 5536  - 5636 ".
On reverse, an image of the facade of the Holy Union Synagogue with legend in Romanian "Templul 'Unirea Sfântă' | Bucuresti 1836-1936".
The linguistic separations on the token, between the Hebrew obverse and the Romanian reverse, may relate to the political-religious history of the Synagogue: it was originally founded in 1836 by the Jewish tailors' guild and known as both the "Tailors' Great Synagogue" (in Romanian) or (in Hebrew) as "Achdut Kodesh" and probably run along Reformist/Haskala lines, partially in keeping with dictates of the government which promoted a policy of teaching secular skills in Jewish religious schools.
Similar to rivalries in other European cities, between Orthodox and Reform Jewish communities, after the Orthodox community established the large "Malbim" Synagogue (an abbreviation for its Rabbi, Meir Leibush ben Yehiel Michel Weiser) in 1848 (following the emanipation of Jews in Wallachia), in 1850 the "Achdut Kodesh" community inaugurated a new and larger Synagogue which went by the Romanian name for "holy union", "Templul Unirea Sfanta".
The Synagogue was expanded and redesigned in 1910 by the architect Julius Grunfeld; damaged by the Romanians in 1941 and recontructed again after the War before becoming Romania's Jewish Museum. One of the Synagogue's most prominent Rabbis was Meir Avraham HaLevy, who led the congregation from 1936 to 1940, and then again from 1946 to 1963.
מילות מפתח: מדליה מדליות בתי כנסת כנסיות יהודיות יודאיקה יודאיכה רומניה