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> Synagogue > Permanent exhibition

Reise ins Jüdische Ostfriesland

Vanwege de eeuwenoude grensoverschrijdende banden tussen de joodse gemeenschappen in Nederland en Duitsland, en in het bijzonder Groningen en Ostfriesland, werkt Synagoge Groningen samen in het netwerkverband 'Reise ins Jüdische Ostfriesland'. 


Synagogue Groningen stimulates active involvement in the Jewish culture and history of the city of Groningen, the region and the border region with East Friesland. The permanent exhibition invites you to become acquainted with the stories that connect history and current events. With digital storytelling, personal stories come to life.


The Jewish rituals, customs and festivals form a common thread through the building. DIY objects allow you to interactively experience why Shabbat is celebrated weekly, what Passover and Hanukkah mean, and how the dietary laws of Kashrut ensure a kosher Jewish household.

Naturally, the special architecture and the remarkable history of the building are highlighted. In the audio tour, Bertien Minco takes you along the moments in her family history in which the synagogue in the Folkingestraat and the Jewish community in Groningen are present.

The synagogue is naturally a place of remembrance, as well as a lively place for cultural activities and an educational center about Jewish religion and customs. Of course the Jewish Community holds shul here.

In collaboration with the Oude Groninger Kerken Foundation, the owner of the building, the structural adjustment of the building was completed in 2021. After that, the realization of the permanent exhibition was completed, a long-standing wish of the Synagogue Groningen and the Dutch-Israelite Municipality of Groningen.

Historian and exhibition maker Willy van der Schuit worked out, designed and realized the plans together with Design collective Groningen, consisting of Studio Eye Candy, 212 Fahrenheit, Opmaat3D and JZProdo. The new interior has become part of the striking monument, the permanent exhibition a source for further exploration of the rich history of Jewish Groningen.

Why were there so many small Jewish communities in the Groningen-East Frisian border region? And what was the reason for migration? Today it is hard to imagine that there were lively Jewish communities in Bunde, Jemgum, Weener, but also in Nieuweschans, Winschoten and Bourtange. Unlike in Germany, in some Dutch villages the former synagogues still remind us of this lost life. From Leer, Dr Juliane Irma Mihan worked on the scientific research, which resulted in the book in 2021  Jewish life in the border area.  Part of the research has been incorporated into the traveling exhibition that will arrive in Synagoge Groningen from July 2021, via Weener, Bunde, Winschoten and Bourtange, which will eventually arrive in Synagogue Groningen in December 2021.

During the project, bilingual fact sheets were made between 2018-2021, in which the latest developments surrounding the project were shared. These facsheets were published in May 2018 , April 2019 , April 2020 and April 2021 .

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The cross-border project  'Jewish life in the border region'  was made possible by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) within the framework of the INTERREG VA program “Deutschland-Nederland”. The Province of Groningen and the Niedersächsische Ministerium für Bundes und Europaangelegenheiten und Regionale Entwicklung have also contributed to this. The INTERREG program management at the Ems Dollard Region (EDR) supports the implementation of the project.

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