Görlitz Seeks Funding to Replace Star of David on Synagogue

Photo by Tessa Enright

Last summer there was discussion about whether a Star of David should be placed again atop the synagogue in Görlitz (Click to read the previous article on this topic). The mayor expressed that it was not a question of if, but how. The administration then looked into the action to see what would be required structurally and financially and came to the city council with proposals last week and it was decided unanimously.

The city has opted to install the Star of David in its historical size (1.55 meters wide and 1.80 meters high but 4 meters high including the mast). This would cost a total of € 70,000 and the city is not able to pay for it because it’s not part of their approved budget. Instead, it will be financed through third-party donations – however Mayor Ursu has stated that the city is not launching a call for donations, but is currently in talks with various donors in order to get full financing for the project.

The chairman of the The Jewish Community of Görlitz, Alex Jacobowitz, has announced that it will donate € 10,000 for the installation of the Star of David on the synagogue and has started an appeal for donations from members.

At the turn of the 20th century, the city of Görlitz had a thriving Jewish population. In 1911 the new synagogue was completed on Otto-Müller Straße, a beautiful building with the capacity for 500 people, a domed ceiling, art nouveau paintings, marble floors and stained glass windows.

During the November Pogroms in 1938 Jewish businesses and homes were looted and destroyed across Germany. The synagogue in Görlitz was lit on fire just like countless others across Germany, but for some reason the fire department was called and they showed up and extinguished the fire, saving the structure from being destroyed. As a result, the Görlitz Synagogue is the only Jewish place of worship in Saxony that wasn’t destroyed on that night.

After years of renovation, the former synagogue is finally scheduled to open at the end of May this year as a cultural forum.