Bet Tfila
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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

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.up



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.




Jewish Architecture
New Sources

Vol. 8 – Katrin Keßler & Alexander von Kienlin (Eds.):

Jewish Architecture – New Sources and Approaches

21 x 25,5 cm, 160 pages, numerous b/w illustrations, hardcover
ISBN 978-3-7319-0322-2; 24,95 € (D)
Petersberg: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2015

This volume presents a wide range of articles dealing with the various aspects of Jewish architecture throughout the centuries and its interaction with literature, politics, etc. Scholars from Europe, Israel and America presented their current research on Jewish architecture at the international conference "Jewish Architecture – New Sources and Approaches" at the Technische Universität Braunschweig in April 2014. The conference marked the twentieth anniversary of the fruitful German-Israeli cooperation of the Bet Tfila – Research Unit for Jewish Architecture in Europe.




Reform Judaism and

Vol. 9 – Andreas Brämer, Mirko Przystawik, and Harmen H. Thies(Eds.):

Reform Judaism and Architecture

21 x 25,5 cm, 176 pages, numerous b/w illustrations, hardcover
ISBN 978-3-7319-0322-2; 24,95 € (D)
Petersberg: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2015

The long nineteenth century was marked by social, economic, and political upheavals in Europe. The Jewish society also witnessed a modernizing change, which ultimatelyled to pluralization within the religious world. Subsequent to the Haskalah, Jewish Enlightenment, and in a complex reciprocal relationship with the emerging science of Judaism, the Jewish reformers implemented progressive changes within the Jewish liturgy which are also reflected in the architecture of Jewish sacral buildings. Starting with the Jakobstempel in Seesen, this volume "Reform Judaism and Architecture" illuminates different aspects of Jewish Reform architecture in overviews and case studies.