The New Synagogue was consecrated on Rosh ha-Shanah in 1866. The only synagogue of the community up to that time on Heidereutergasse, it had long proven insufficient for the rapidly growing Jewish population.The New Synagogue, with its 3,200 seats, became the largest Jewish house of worship in Germany. Services in the New Synagogue were conducted according to the so-called New Rites and Practices, the most important indication of which was the installation of an organ. Such reforms of the service were part of the process of Jewish assimilation.The well-known architect Eduard Knoblauch (1801-1865) found inspiration for his design of the Synagogue in the Moorish style of the Alhambra in Granada. The dome, covered with gilded buttresses and more than 50 meters in height, found acclaim beyond the borders of Germany for its application of the most modern construction technology.In the Pogrom of November 1938 ("Kristallnacht"), the New Synagogue was spared major damage. During the Second World War, however, it was severely damaged by Allied bombing. In 1958 the main room of the synagogue was demolished. Only the parts of the building closest to the street remained structurally intact.In May 1995 the building was reopened with the permanent exhibition, "Open Ye the Gates".Taking up the tradition of the New Synagogue, the Foundation New Synagogue Berlin - Centrum Judaicum sees itself as a connecting link between the past and the future. The task of the Centrum Judaicum is to assemble and adress the history of the Jews in and around Berlin. It seeks to recall the achievements of the Jewish people and preserve the memory of the Jewish victims. Relevant documents are archived, evaluated and published. Alongside the permanent exhibition, temporary exhibitions serve to make Jewish history concrete and tangible.
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