R Janusz Pawelczyk-Kissin

Translation of the article about the anniversary in

Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung, Tuesday July 16, 2019; p 3:

Synagogue should also in the future be filled with life.

The second inauguration festivities on the occasion of its 125th anniversary were quite successful

Sinsheim Steinsfurt. It seemed as if the illustrious guests at the ceremony had been put into a time machine and catapulted back in time to the end of the nineteenth century. Not quite but nearly so – according to a report in the Landbote from the year 1894 – as members of various religions sat round a table in peace and  determined to have a good time. On the occasion of its 125th anniversary of its two-day inauguration ceremony of the synagogue at Steinsfurt the Association Alte Synagoge Steinsfurt founded in 1992 had invited members of the public "without any regard of the different beliefs" to a second two-day inauguration party. Just as has been reported in 1894 the protestant and the catholic priests of the village were also among the guests of honour.

Saturday night had been arranged by the couple from Neckarbischofsheim, Corinna and Bernhard Lorenz with their program : "Meeting people – Songs and Tales", with the synagogue to be seen in a homely and inviting light. Corinna Lorenz told her tales in an empethatic voice using the 2 different accents from this area and managed to capture heads and hearts of the audience in the synagogue which was packed full. She presented fairly tales, vivid morality tales and wisdom tales which made the audience smile and laugh, not least because they were taken from life. Bernhard Lorenz not only accompanied her with his guitar but sang songs on his own, above all in Jiddish and introduced his songs in a humorous way. He also translated his texts into English when necessary for the Weil and Kahn familes who had come from the USA, descendants of those families who had been part of the Jewish community in Steinsfurt up to the pogroms of 1938. It were especially these texts which made people really come together that evening.

Sunday afternoon was above all filled with the talks of the local cleric and political representatives. Rabbi Janusz Pawelczyk-Kissin from Heidelberg in charge of the Rhein-Neckar area made a lively and pointed speach. He regretted that there was no longer a Jewish community in Steinsfurt. He was positive that this was only a question of time. Only when Jewish life was no longer only presented to people in films, the news or literature but would be present in the cultural, religious everyday life irritating resentments could be done away with.

The catholic priest Ulrich Fördrer represented both Christian parishes. He emphasised the importance of meeting and interacting with other people, strangers, without prejudice. This was vital for all parts of society. The Rabbi Jesus had been an example. He stressed that the ever increasing contact with different cultures and religions was a challenge, but also emotionally educating.
The Mayor of Sinsheim Jörg Albrecht stressed the enormous collective effort by the members of the Association Alte Synagoge Steinsfurt. It was clear that the town of Sinsheim would support them within its possibilities. Now it would be important that in the future various events filled this historic building with life.

The impressive contributions by the girls from the Wilhelmi-Gymnasium showed that the aims of the association will be in good hands, also in the future.

Ramona Bührle and Laura Häußler playing the flute entertained the audience with 2 duets.

 


Article by Dr Ulrich Brefka