Jewish Daily Life in Germany, 1618-1945

By Marion A. Kaplan | Go to book overview

23
Religious Practice in
the Synagogue and at Home

A revival of Jewish culture in general, and also more specifically in the Jewish Communities and religious life, could already be observed during the Weimar Republic. Max Grünewald, who studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary in Breslau and then became a rabbi in Mannheim, later recalled that "at that time, critical and creative energies confronted each other, that is, increased assimilation and a decisive turn to Jewishness."1 Jewish self-reflection and selfassurance after 1933 built upon this foundation.


Jewish Communities

The Jewish Communities, legal entities that embraced all Jews within certain territorial limits, levied taxes on members, and organized Jewish communal and ritual affairs had already attempted to use their own institutions in the pre-Weimar period to satisfy the social needs of their members, including social welfare and funerals. They took on new tasks in the 1920s that became all the more urgent toward the end of the Weimar Republic, especially vocational retraining and economic relief. This meant a heavy financial burden on individual members, especially in smaller communities, since the religious tax there could amount to up to 150 percent of the income tax,2 whereas the national average was only 20 percent. In view of the out-migration of those who were better off, small Jewish Communities could only survive with subsidies from the regional associations of Jewish Communities.3

In addition to professionalization that transformed traditional charity into social work and interest in larger social policy issues, volunteerism in this area, which contemporaries viewed as virtually "essential," also continued to

-323-

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Jewish Daily Life in Germany, 1618-1945
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Jewish Daily Life in Germany, 1618-1945 iii
  • Acknowledgments v
  • Contents vii
  • English Glossary ix
  • Title Page 1
  • Introduction: Marion A. Kaplan 3
  • Part I: On the Threshold of Modernity 9
  • 1: The Environment of Jewish Life 11
  • 2: Family Life 24
  • 3: Childhood and Education 41
  • 4: Economic Life 54
  • 5: Religious and Communal Life 70
  • 6: Social Relations 84
  • Part II: The Beginning of Integration 93
  • 7: Jewish Residential Patterns 95
  • 8: Family Life 107
  • 9: Education 118
  • 10: Economic Life 130
  • 11: Religious Practice and Mentality 144
  • 12: German Jews and Their German Jews and Their 159
  • Part III: As Germans and as Jews in Imperial Germany 173
  • 13: Surroundings 175
  • 14: Family 182
  • 15: Education 201
  • 16: Work 215
  • 17: Religious Practices, Mentalities,And Community 235
  • 18: Social Life 252
  • Part IV: From Everyday Life to a State of Emergency 271
  • 19: Housing and Housekeeping 273
  • 20: Family Life 283
  • 21: Education and Vocational Training 291
  • 22: Career and Employment 306
  • 23: Religious Practice in the Synagogue and at Home 323
  • 24: Leisure Time and Social Life 333
  • 25: Constricting and Extinguishing Jewish Life 346
  • Conclusion 375
  • Notes 387
  • Bibliography 477
  • Index 507
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