A bustling port town whose founding dates back to 808 CE, today Hamburg is home to Europe’s second-largest harbor, Germany’s oldest stock exchange, and more bridges than any other city in the world! The city boasts both a rich Jewish history, commemorated by the many memorials and museums across the city; and a contemporary flourishing Jewish community, whose schools, cafes, shops and institutions have been springing up throughout Hamburg at an astonishing pace over the past few years.
The history of Jews in Hamburg originates in the second half of the 16th century, when Sephardic Jews migrated to the city from Portugal. A century later in 1860, when the social, legal and economic restrictions on Hamburg’s Jews were lifted, most of the community moved to the blossoming Grindel neighborhood, which has been the center of Hamburg Jewish life ever since.
The Grindel quarter was once one of the most dynamic in Hamburg, but the Nazis rise to power destroyed the lives of the Jews who lived there. After the war, only a small handful of the survivors returned to the city. Despite this, today Grindel is home once again to a thriving Jewish community. Perhaps the most inspiring symbol of this historic return is the newly re-opened Talmud Tora School.