"haKochaw" synagogue and Jewish community
Unna's Jewish history stretches back to the Middle Ages. The first Jews settled in Unna in the 13th century but it is presumed that people of the Jewish faith lived there before these times. In 1885 a synagogue existed in Unna upon which an incendiary attack was carried out in 1938 during the Reich's Crystal Night. Here as well as at other places the Jewish population was systematically dispossessed of its rights, persecuted and deported. In 1942 Unna, in the terminology of the National Socialists, was deemed to be "free of Jews".
Today Unna once again has a flourishing Jewish community. Many so-called contingent refugees came in the early 1990s from the regions of the former Soviet Union. In these areas they had not been allowed to practice their religion for many decades. For this reason and in many cases, the newly arrived were completely unfamiliar with Jewish traditions.
A new Jewish community only came about several years later: the "Stern – jüdischer kulturell integrativer Verein e. V." was founded in 2003, from which a liberal Jewish community for the Unna district was created in 2007. This was given the name of "haKochaw". A few years later a prayer hall was set up in the former Bodelschwinghhaus that then became a synagogue in 2012 when the Torah was brought in.
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