The Jewish Liberal Community Cologne Gescher LaMassoret is currently in an interim state due to the extensive renovation needed for the synagogue. Due to the significant renovation requirements, the community had to relocate to various other premises since 2019. In addition to the refurbishment of the interior spaces on the ground and basement levels of the synagogue, the outdoor area in the backyard also needs renewal. The redesign of the synagogue is being handled by the renowned architectural firm Paul Böhm, and as of early 2023, the design planning has been completed.
We would like to seek your support to successfully execute this renovation project. Donations play a crucial role in enabling the synagogue's renovation and strengthening liberal Judaism in Cologne and beyond. Every contribution, whether large or small, is valuable and contributes to building an inviting and contemporary community.
We appreciate your generosity and solidarity. With your financial support, you help us create a place for prayer, learning, and interreligious dialogue. Together, we can further develop liberal Judaism in Cologne and promote an open and inclusive community.
In the Jewish Liberal Community Cologne Gescher LaMassoret, women and men pray together. Women lead prayers just as men do. We emphasize gender equality in worship, aligning with all liberal Jewish communities in Germany. We aim to practice a contemporary, modern Judaism, which includes maintaining a positive relationship with lesbians, gays, and transgender individuals. Additionally, we place great importance on dialogue with other religions, especially with Christians and Muslims.
Gescher LaMassoret means "Bridge to Tradition." While aspiring to live a modern Judaism, we highly value Jewish traditional literature, such as the Torah (the Five Books of Moses), other parts of the Jewish Bible, and the Talmud. For us, blending Jewish tradition with being current is a perfect match. Judaism has always placed the utmost value on education and learning. The word Talmud comes from the Hebrew word for learning. Continuous learning is the best way to stay contemporary.
Our community has existed since 1996, but liberal Jews have been present in Cologne for much longer. Before the Holocaust, Liberals celebrated their services at the synagogue on Roonstrasse, where today the united community conducts orthodox services.
We aim to strengthen liberal Judaism in Cologne and beyond. Many of our members and worshippers come from other places in the Rhineland. We are connected with synagogues in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, and worldwide. We are members of the liberal state association of North Rhine-Westphalia, the "Union of Progressive Jews," and the "World Union for Progressive Judaism."
Our services are easily understandable. Liberal Jewish women and men pray and speak numerous texts in the local language—in our case, in German. We read the Torah in its original language and with translation. We emphasize not merely reciting the texts but understanding and engaging with them to the best of our ability.