Virtually unheard of in the outside world for many years, now Tallinn shines as a little-known Jewish destination whose time has come! With its four-year-old Beit Bella synagogue, containing a sanctuary, mikveh, and restaurant, its active Jewish Community Center and school, and its well-kept Jewish cemeteries and Holocaust memorials, Tallinn is an example of a city reconciling with its past while advancing confidently towards a tolerant and progressive future.
A cruise ship port on the Baltic Sea, Tallinn is both the capital of Estonia and a 2011 European Cultural Capital! Experience the Middle Ages in Tallinn – walk the old town’s winding cobblestone streets in this World UNESCO Heritage Site, once referred to by a 12th century cartographer as a “small town like a large castle.” Its medieval defensive wall survives to this day, telling of its history as an important Hanseatic, or sea-merchant, city. Home to a Jewish community since the 14th century, many were themselves merchants and artisans.
After being occupied over the centuries by Denmark, Sweden, Russia, and Germany, the city was rendered today grapples with a complicated history but also holds a strong sense of identity.