Germany — Former Jewish Girls School in Berlin is now a chic culture center

 

 

The Ehemalige Jüdische Mädchenschule,  a former Jewish girls’ school in Berlin, has been transformed and reopened as an arts and dining center — one that includes exhibition spaces, galleries,  and even a kosher restaurant that offers Shabbat meals. (Other eateries include a German restaurant and a New York-style deli.)

The building, located in eastern Berlin, where after World War II it was a regular high school that closed after the fall of communism. The building lay empty and decaying for more than a decade and was restituted to the Jewish community in 2009.

The Center’s web site has details about the school’s history, architecture and transformation:

Berlin’s first Jewish girls’ school was built in Mitte in 1835. It was expanded in 1930 and moved into this newly-constructed building on Auguststrasse 11. The work of a prominent Jewish architect Alexander Beer (1873-1944), the school was built in the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) style which emphasized functional over aesthetic design. Beer would later perish at the hands of the National Socialist regime in Theresienstadt concentration camp. Comprising of 14 classrooms, a sports hall and a rooftop garden for the older children to enjoy and rest in, the school was one of the most modern in the city. As well as the standard school subjects, pupils here learned Hebrew and traditional forms of art.

[...]

The Jewish School for Girls in Auguststraße was built in 1927/28 to plans by Alexander Beer, architect to the Jewish community, with 3,000 sq m of floor space for about 300 female pupils, and opened in 1930. It was one of the last pre-war buildings on the Berlin Jewish community’s terrain. After it was closed by the National Socialists in 1942 it was fitted out as a temporary hospital. The school was used by various Berlin grammar schools from 1950 to 1996 and has been empty since then.

The New York Times runs a travel story about the Center

 

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