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BH synagogue models on display in Amsterdam

01.01.2012

Beit Hatfutsot has lent two models of synagogues from its renowned Synagogue Model Collection for an exhibition that opened in Amsterdam. The two synagogue models, the Prague "Altneuschul" synagogue and the synagogue in Kai-Feng-Fu, China, will be on display as part of the exhibition entitled, “Judaism - A World of Stories” of De Nieuwe Kerk and the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam, through April 2012.


The Kai Feng Fu Synagogue, China, from the only known community of Chinese Jews, was first constructed in 1163, restored in 1279 and after destruction by floods, rebuilt in 1653. By the 18th century the community disintegrated through assimilation and the synagogue fell into decay. The "Altneuschul" is the oldest existing synagogue in Europe still in use today. It was completed in 1270, and was originally called "The New" or "The Great" synagogue. In the 16th century, when more synagogues were built in the Jewish Ghetto, it was renamed "The Old-New Synagogue". It was built below street level, in the heart of the Jewish quarter. The Altnueschul is a unique example of a twin-naved medieval synagogue.


With more than 500 artifacts on display, the Amsterdam exhibition “tells the fascinating story of three thousand years of Jewish religion, culture, art and history, the chronicle of a world religion that takes diverse international forms but has always held onto its identity”. Most of the artifacts are on display in the Netherlands for the first time. The Beit Hatfutsot models are on display along with other treasures such as a first-century Dead Sea Scroll from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, the oldest complete Torah scroll, originally from Erfurt and now at the Staatsbibliothek in Berlin, a painting by Chagall from the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.


 

The  synagogue in Kai-Feng-Fu, China (model, Beit Hatfutsot)

 

The Altneuschul in Prague (model, Beit Hatfutsot)