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Potsdam’s stylish new synagogue is the German city’s first since WWII

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JTA — The city of Potsdam, Germany, has its first new synagogue since the Holocaust — and it’s a looker.

The synagogue is part of the newly inaugurated European Center for Jewish Learning at the University of Potsdam, which will also be the umbrella for the school’s School of Jewish Theology founded in 2013 and two egalitarian rabbinical seminaries — the progressive Abraham Geiger College (founded in 1999) and the conservative Zacharias Frankel College (also founded in 2013).

The synagogue is the first to open in Potsdam since the end of World War II, and the first synagogue ever to open as part of a university in Germany, according to historian Ulrich Knufinke, who contributed to an architectural guide about the renovation and construction project. It can house about 40 worshipers in its minimalist pews, and has white floors and walls that can be lit in different colors.

The center, which aims to draw more applicants from across Europe, is located in the university’s campus at the 18th-century New Palace in Sanssouci Park — a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its three programs currently have 80 enrollees, including 31 rabbinical students. Some of the 44 previous........

© The Times of Israel

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