August 21st, 2008

Former synagogue to be transformed into exhibition hall and meeting place

Gelsenkirchen – The state of North Rhine-Westphalia will provide €104,000 for the conversion of the former Community Centre of the Jewish Community of Gelsenkirchen to an exhibition hall and meeting place. The respective commitment letter was handed over by Münster's district president, Peter Paziorek, at a ceremony held at Gelsenkirchen's new synagogue a week ago. The total cost of the project, that has been in planning for some time now, will amount to €130,000. Building work will begin soon and is due to be completed by 2010. It is planned to create space for exhibitions and seminars and to use the former prayer hall for interreligious dialogue. "This building has been our new home since 1958," said the head of the Jewish Community of Gelsenkirchen, Judith Neuwald-Tasbach, on the occasion of the handing over of the financing commitment letter. "I have always admired the courage of the men and women who established this Community Centre after the terrible Nazi times and decided to stay here." The Jewish Community of Gelsenkirchen has 400 members. In February 2007, a new Community Centre was inaugurated on the site of the synagogue destroyed in 1938. The former Community Centre that was until then used for worship and meetings is also situated in the centre of Gelsenkirchen and will soon open its doors to all those interested in Jewish history and culture. (21.08.2008)