Originally founded in 1774, the Jewish community in Stockholm has continued to exist relatively undisturbed over the generations. Sweden’s most famous role in Jewish history might be from Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish humanitarian and diplomat working in Budapest during the Holocaust. By issuing protective passports to Jews, Wallenberg single-handedly saved 10,000 Jewish lives. This legacy is honored near Great Synagogue by a moving memorial in the shape of an enormous stone ball – reminding us to be ever vigilant against anti-Semitism.
The Great Synagogue is built in an Assyrian style, and their organ resembles an open Torah scroll! Take a stroll through the picturesque Old Town, the Gamla Stan, where the city’s first synagogue once stood. Catch a glimpse of the changing of the guard at the Royal Palace. Stockholm is also home to “Paideia,” the famous European Institute for Jewish Studies, which trains scholars from the world over.
Did you know that Yiddish is an official minority language in Sweden? There are courses taught at The Jewish Community Center, found in the Judaica House (Judaicahuset), near the Jewish day school. The city also boasts a small but excellent Jewish museum with permanent and rotating exhibits.