Jewish Vienna – VIENNA/NOW Tours


Vienna’s history is closely connected with Jewish history Before the annexation of Austria to Nazi Germany in 1938 the Jewish population was flourishing Even decades later Austria and Vienna are still coming to terms with the darkest time in their history On this tour we are walking in the footsteps of Jewish life in Vienna its past and its present We will visit seven highlights with a total walking distance of about an hour Starting at the Jewish Museum we will visit the city temple, the Shoa monument on Juden Platz, explore Jewish life in Vienna’s second district and sip a drink at Tel Aviv Beach Check out the description for more details We want to bring back into the public consciousness of Austrians but also of our guests from abroad What was lost, what was here, but there are no traces anymore So you can see that people lived really all around the city of Vienna And unfortunately all of the synagogues that were located there were destroyed Apart from one, the city temple Synagogues could have been built, but they had to be hidden behind a facade Here you can see the model of the synagogue You can see how cleverly the architect hid this beautiful space within this house which is not at all impressive from the outside You would not expect what beautiful encounter you will have in a couple of minutes But then if you enter it’s really stunning It’s a beautiful synagogue and it is the only synagogue of Vienna that survived the so-called Novemberpogrome You’ll see in the second district there are a lot of synagogues And the reason is that on Shabbat you’re not allowed to walk further than two kilometers So the Jews will usually meet in areas where there are synagogues within every two kilometers So that they wouldn’t have to work in order to get there Within a second you’ll see when we walk there are very many synagogues Nuriel Molcho is an entrepreneur, restaurant and bar owner as well as a designer He lives and works in the second district which used to be the Jewish quarter In recent years Jewish life has grown more vibrant again in this area So I have to ask because I’ve been checking out your hat the entire time, is this also a tradition or is it something completely different In the Jewish tradition the men have to cover their heads And the black hat is very symbolic of Judaism So for me, I’m a hat maker and I wanted to pay homage to this But also add a twist and maybe represent the modern Jew and the young society which wants to sort of break free of the old traditions and recreate them And that’s what this hat is to me Visitors absolutely have to go to Juden Platz This is the place where the Shoa monument of Rachel Whiteread is located Because the Jewish community in the Middle Ages was destroyed in 1421 And the huge synagogue that was located there was destroyed When the city decided that the Schoah monument should be built and the ground was opened up in the 1990s By miracle the fundaments of the medieval synagogue were found Which was really incredible So if you visit the Shoa monument you should definitely go downstairs and also visit this extremely important part of Jewish history in Vienna The first Jewish community in the Middle Ages was destroyed in 1420 and 1421 It was located here in the center of the city on Juden Platz, around Juden Platz where the Shoa monument is located today And that was the second community that was located mainly here in the second district This was when when Jews had to live in the ghetto The third community started around 1900 and unfortunately with WW2 this whole life disappeared But now it comes back again Now we have a very lively street scene in the second district We have a Jewish theatre, we have several kosher butcher stores grocery stores, we have supermarkets, we have restaurants Here we have coffee house called Tachles which is a old Yiddish word and it basically means you know “get to the point” We have Tel Aviv Beach of course which is a meeting place not only for the Jewish community But also for everybody It’s a wonderful place to encounter So Neni is a family business, along the name represents us it’s Nouriel, Elior, Nadiv and Ilan which is us four brothers And today we expanded into Berlin, Munich, Zurich, Hamburg And then after Neni came what was the next adventure? So Tel Aviv Beach happened about a year after Neni And it was actually a project together with the State of Israel to promote Tel Aviv as a city And it was supposed to be only a half a year project And it went so well and the government was so happy with it that they asked us if we wanted to continue with it And now eight years later, we’re here with Tel Aviv Beach and we love it So Jewish life came back to this area again and this is wonderful to watch

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