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.
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