Racist events in recent months have sensitized us to the problems faced by minority groups. Even when Jews, who had endured oppressive discrimination for centuries, became mostly assimilated into the mainstream during the 19 th century, the shadow of anti-Semitism played a role in the way in which Jews in Europe displayed their presence, including the appearance of their synagogues.
This meant keeping a low profile architecturally and conforming to whatever styles were prevailing at the time of building. Nevertheless, many magnificent synagogues were built wherever there were large Jewish communities.
While tourists flock en masse to Christian churches and cathedrals, how many of us know much about synagogue building, which can tell us a lot about how the Jews and their Christian neighbors reconciled conflicting social and religious needs, or at least hoped to do that? Find out in this class!
(Note: As an “apéritif” to this class, take a 25 minute tour of the monumental Dohany synagogue in Budapest at: https://www.arte.tv/fr/videos/048555-013-A/des-monuments-et-des-hommes/)
Carol Herselle Krinsky, a Smith graduate with a Ph.D; from New York University's Institute of Fine Arts, has been Professor of Art History at NYU since 1965. She's the author of five books, is working on a sixth, has earned national and university teaching awards, and has been President of several scholarly organizations concerned with architecture and art. She has also been a guest professor elsewhere in the USA, and in Mexico, Germany, Belarus, and Tatarstan, and has lectured in ten European countries. Her February 2021 lecture on Manhattan for WICE was a winter hit!
Photo Credit: Budapest Attrations - Top Sights