the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The Center for Jewish Art
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
 the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Bet-Tfila Publications

Studies of the Bet Tfila – Research Unit

edited by Aliza Cohen-Mushlin and Harmen Hinrik Thies
The Bet Tfila – Studies are available at your local bookstore, at the Michael Imhof Verlag, or at Bet Tfila – Research Unit.

Vol. 1

Vol. 1 – Keßler, Katrin:

The Buildings of the Jewish Community in Schwedt/Oder

Die Bauwerke der jüdischen Gemeinde in Schwedt/Oder

21 x 26 cm, 64 pages, 57 b/w illustrations, brochure, German/English texts
ISBN 978-3-86568-314-4; 10,– € (D); out of print
Petersberg: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2007

Almost seventy years after their demise, this booklet presents the buildings of the Jewish congregation in Schwedt/Oder. Background information on the history of the congregation, numerous historic building plans, and computer reconstructions give a vivid picture of the former community, which left the greatest evidence of buildings in the land of Brandenburg. The reconstruction of the facilities of this relatively small community, whose significance is necessarily inferior to that of the larger known communities, is nevertheless exemplary for many Jewish congregations in Germany, whose buildings here and there are reminiscent of it.

Vol. 2

Vol. 2 – Cohen-Mushlin, Aliza, Hermann Simon, and Harmen H. Thies (Eds.):

Beiträge zur jüdischen Architektur in Berlin

21 x 6 cm, 112 pages, 82 b/w illustrations, brochure, German text
ISBN 978-3-86568-479-0; 12,80 € (D)
Petersberg: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2009

In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the city of Berlin was one of the greatest Jewish centers in Germany and Europe. As lively and multifarious as the community life appeared to be, so were the necessary infrastructure and the built community facilities.

By means of selected architectural examples, the international research team elucidates in this volume the broad spectrum of buildings (synagogues, mikva`ot), as well as social facilities (hospitals, old-people's homes). In addition, for the first time are presented and explained against their historical background, several architect-designed sukkoth, the prison-synagogues in Moabit and Plötzensee as well as the Jewish workers` colony in Weißensee, which until recently have not been studied.


Vol. 3

Vol. 3 – Kravtsov, Sergey R.:

Di Gildene Royze

The Turei Zahav Synagogue in L'viv

21 x 26 cm, 88 pages, 75 b/w illustrations, brochure, English text with German summary
ISBN 978-3-86568-138-6; 12,80 € (D)
Petersberg: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2011

Di Gildene Royze, known also as the Turei Zahav or the Nachmanowicz Synagogue, was built in 1582 in L'viv, Ukraine. The book Di Gildene Royze tells the story of this place of prayer, a center of communal life, a monument of architecture, and a site of Jewish memory. The pictorial account portrays the synagogue in the city maps, architectural drawings, photographs, and numerous works of art depicting the structure during particular stages of its history. Computer-aided reconstructions help the reader to envision the synagogue in those bygone days, of which only archaeological and literary evidence has survived. The Jewish place of memory is shown through the meaningful dedicatory inscription of 1582, folk legends about this synagogue and its legendary savior, the righteous Golden Rose, as well as the Song of Deliverance, now translated to English. The book provokes a discussion on the destiny of this venerable landmark, destroyed during World War II and neglected after the war.


Vol. 4

Vol. 4 – Aliza Cohen-Mushlin and Harmen H. Thies (Eds.):

Synagogue and Temple

200 Years of Jewish Reform Movement and Its Architecture

21 x 26 cm, 160 Seiten, 73 Farb- und 6 S/W-Abbildungen, Broschur, Text deutsch und englisch
ISBN 978-3-86568-834-7; 19,95 € (D)
Petersberg: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2012

Around 1800, Germany formed the starting point of the Jewish Reform movement. The Jewish Enlightenment, the Haskalah, brought forth claims not only for equal rights of the Jews but also for a reorganisation of the Jewish service. Religious and liturgical impulses emanated from different German towns like Berlin, Dessau, Frankfurt/Main, and Hamburg. In Seesen, the Brunswick court banker Israel Jacobson contributed crucially to the beginnings of the international reformed and liberal Judaism by the foundation of his Free School (Freischule) in 1801 and the erection of a related school synagogue (until 1810).

Publications of the Bet Tfila – Research Unit

edited by Aliza Cohen-Mushlin and Harmen Hinrik Thies
The Bet Tfila – Publications are available at your local bookstore, at the Michael Imhof Verlag, or at the Bet Tfila – Research Unit.

Vol. 1 has not been published yet.

Raum und Ritus

Vol. 2 – Keßler, Katrin:

Raum und Ritus der Synagoge

Liturgische und religionsgesetzliche Regeln für den mitteleuropäischen Synagogenbau

21 x 25,5 cm, 440 pages, 192 b/w illustrations, hardcover, German text
Diss. Technische Universität Braunschweig, 2005
ISBN 978-3-86568-208-6; 59,– € (D)
Petersberg: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2007

What laws and regulations has Judaism set for synagogue buildings and what does occur during service in the men`s section and in that of the women`s? The author answers numerous questions about the structure and use of synagogue buildings, thereby helping the reader better understand the Jewish house of worship. The investigation, examples of which are the Ashkenazi synagogue in Halberstadt (1712) and the Sephardi synagogue in Amsterdam (1675), is preceded by an overview of the laws in the Torah, Talmud, and other sources which relate to the architecture and use of the synagogue. The book offers valuable information for the understanding of historic synagogues as well as important guide lines for new synagogues buildings.

Bauwerke jüd. Friedhöfe

Vol. 3 – Knufinke, Ulrich:

Bauwerke jüdischer Friedhöfe in Deutschland

21 x 25,5 cm, 456 pages, 238 b/w illustrations, hardcover, German text
Diss. Technische Universität Braunschweig, 2005
ISBN 978-3-86568-206-2; 68,– € (D)
Petersberg: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2007

There were about 280 Jewish cemetery buildings in Germany, the majority of which still stand. Their architectural documentation and history are here comprehensively presented for the first time. The layout and arrangement of cemeteries and their buildings are dictated by Jewish halakhic laws and by traditions concerning dying, death, and burial. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, modest cemetery chapels were built where bodies were ritually prepered for the funeral. While such chapels exist in Jewish cemeteries to this day, they underwent considerable changes as part of the process of Emancipation, assimilation, and acculturation among the Jews in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: respectable funeral halls became the salient element of the ever more complex buildings.

In the twentieth century, the search after a specific Jewish expression in architecture constituted an important aspect in the designs of the now, mainly Jewish architects. This development came to a halt with the rise of Nazism. After 1945, one finds only few new cemetery chapels, although with the growth of the Jewish community after 1990, a continuation of such building traditions may be expected.


Synagoge im Mittelalter

Vol. 4 – Paulus, Simon:

Die Architektur der Synagoge im Mittelalter

Überlieferung und Bestand

21 x 25,5 cm, 608 pages, 239 b/w illustrations, hardcover, German text
Diss. Technische Universität Braunschweig, 2005
ISBN 978-3-86568-313-7; 68,– € (D)
Petersberg: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2007

As a religious and social center of the Jewish Community, synagogue buildings presented a unique challenge in the context of secular medieval architecture. Functional requirements coupled with dictates of Jewish halakhic laws as well as influences and limitations imposed by Christian authorities and invironment, formed the interior and exterior appearance of its architecture.
This present study, undertaken here for the first time, is based on the architectural documentation of existing buildings and archival material in the region inhabited by Ashkenazi Jewry. It examines the typological and stylistic features of medieval synagogue architecture, in the context of Western architecture and culture.


Vol. 5 – Cohen-Mushlin, Aliza and Harmen H. Thies (Eds.):

Synagogenarchitektur in Deutschland

Dokumentation zur Ausstellung

21 x 25,5 cm, 272 pages, 298 b/w illustrations, hardcover, German text
ISBN 978-3-86568-344-1; 19,95 € (D)
Petersberg: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2008

Between the eighteenth century and the first third of the twentieth century, Jewish ritual buildings comprising three thousand schools and houses of prayer, were an intergral part of the German townscape. Almost all of them were damaged, demolished, or transformed during the Nazi dictatorship "'… und ich wurde ihnen zu einem kleinen Heiligtum…' – Synagogen in Deutschland" ["… yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary…" – Synagogues in Germany] elucidates their development by means of essays and exemplary buildings. Beginning with the medieval synagogue of Worms, the architectural history of Jewish houses of worship is presented here - from baroque buildings hidden in backyards, through neoclassical and later eclectic edifices first visible in townscapes, up to the monumental buildings of modern times.


Jewish Architecture

Vol. 6 – Cohen-Mushlin, Aliza and Harmen H. Thies (Eds.):

Jewish Architecture in Europe

21 x 25,5 cm, 382 pages, 303 b/w illustrations, hardcover, English texts
ISBN 978-3-86568-346-5; 49,- € (D)
Petersberg: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2010

With contributions by:
Zoya Arshavsky, Eleonora Bergman, Sonja Beyer, Maros Borsky, Ralf Busch, Cornelia Berger-Dittscheid & Hans-Christoph Dittscheid, Miguel Angel Espinosa Villegas, Daniela Gauding & Ingolf Herbarth, Samuel Gruber, Hans-Christof Haas, Isabel Haupt, Elko Hazan, Dominique Jarrassé, Sharman Kadish, Katrin Keßler, Rudolf Klein, Jaroslav Klenovsky, Ulrich Knufinke, Sergey R. Kravtsov, Carol H. Krinsky, Tobias Lamey, Vladimir Levin, Bezalel Narkiss, Simon Paulus, Attilio Petruccioli, Angeli Sachs & Edward van Voolen, Hermann Simon, Alla Sokolova, Heidi Vormann and Harmen H. Thies

s there such a thing as Jewish Architecture? Scholars, scientists, and researchers from all over the world gathered in Braunschweig to answer just this question. The problem of a specific Jewish character in works of art and architecture has been a point of growing interest during the last decades. Case studies, regional surveys, and essays contained in this volume offer an insight into the variety of Europe`s architectural and urban structures that could be considered Jewish by origin.

With the help of this architectural heritage, Jewish presence in Europe can be detected all the way back to early Jewish settlements in the Mediterranean region. From this time on, sacred and secular Jewish buildings are interwoven into the pattern of their Christian and Muslim surroundings. A straight line can be drawn connecting the medieval and early-modern shul with the magnificent synagogues of the "Golden Age" and the large community centers built in the Neues Bauen style. After the hiatus caused by the Shoah, newly expanding Jewish communities find expression in new architectural forms which are also reflected in the architecture of present-day Jewish museums.



Archäologische Studien

Vol. 7 – Ole Harck:

Archäologische Studien zum Judentum in der europäischen Antike und dem mitteleuropäischen Mittelalter

21 x 25,5 cm, 656 pages, 195 b/w illustrations and maps, hardcover
ISBN 978-3-7319-0078-8; 69 €
Petersberg: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2014

In the settlements and towns of European Antiquity and Central European Middle Ages, Jews constituted a minority in the Pagan or Christian majority of the population. The numerous tangible traces of Jewish life differ scarcely from the archaeological findings of the majority of the population. Only such religious build- ings as synagogues, ritual baths, and burial sites show a different, functional type of architecture. Furthermore, Jews used certain special liturgical utensils, which can only be identified as Jewish ritual objects by the Jewish symbols and Hebrew inscriptions found on them.

In his book Studies on Jewish Archaeology, Ole Harck of the Department of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology at the Christian-Albrechts-University in Kiel for the first time provides a comprehensive view of archaeological findings originating in the Central European Middle Ages, which are clearly Jewish, highlighting these important findings of European Antiquity.



Vol. 8 – Cohen-Mushlin, Aliza; Harmen H. Thies and Andreas Brämer (Eds.):

Reform Judaism and Architecture

21 x 25,5 cm,
Petersberg: Michael Imhof Verlag

publication date: 2014