COPENHAGEN

COPENHAGEN (Dan. København), capital of denmark . The first Jewish congregation in Copenhagen was founded in 1684 when two Ashkenazi Jews, the court jeweler Israel David and his partner Meyer Goldschmidt, both of Hamburg, were permitted "to conduct morning and evening prayers in their homes on condition that these devotional exercises took place behind closed doors and without any sermon." In 1687 Abraham Salomon of Rausnitz in Moravia was appointed the first rabbi in Copenhagen. The first Jewish cemetery in Møllegade, established in 1693, is the oldest cemetery in northern Europe. Religious services – in some cases according to the Sephardi tradition – were held in private homes until 1766 when a synagogue with 320 seats was built in Laederstraede. This first synagogue was destroyed by the great fire of 1795, and services were thereafter held in 15 private homes. In 1827 the Liberal Party deemed it a matter of necessity to procure a rabbi with an academic education, and abraham alexander wolff , at the time Landesrabbiner in Upper Hessen, was appointed. A new synagogue in Krystalgade was built in 1833, on the initiative of Rabbi Wolff. A few strictly Orthodox members of the community were dissatisfied with some innovations introduced into the ritual in the new synagogue in Krystalgade, and a chapel was established in a private home in Laederstraede, where services in accordance with the traditional Polish rite were held from 1845 to 1955. After the consecration of the Krystalgade synagogue, the former Sephardi prayer rooms in Copenhagen were abandoned. There is no Reform synagogue in Copenhagen. The congregation Mahzike Hadas, established in 1910, and since 1914 affiliated with agudat israel , maintains a synagogue in Ole Suhrsgade on a private basis. The community is governed by a council of 20 delegates elected by approximately 1,800 dues payers; by a board of seven directors elected by the council; and by a board of seven trustees. The first old-age home, Meyers Minde, next to the synagogue, was erected in 1825 and rebuilt in 1925 and 1966. Three other old-age homes were erected in 1902, and a new old-age home and infirmary on the outskirts of Copenhagen were dedicated in 1961 in the presence of Queen Ingrid of Denmark. All Jewish welfare work in Copenhagen was carried out under the jurisdiction of the Jewish community until 1932, when Jews became subject to the same general social welfare legislation as all other Danish citizens. The Jewish community in Copenhagen, however, still has philanthropic institutions of long standing and applies the income from legacies to supplementary relief, medical aid, recreation, scholarships, dowries for needy brides, and assistance to Jewish transients. The all-day schools for boys and girls, founded respectively   in 1805 and 1810, were united into one coeducational school, Carolineskolen, with 140 pupils after World War II. At the end of the 20th century its student body numbered close to 200 pupils. A Lubavitcher yeshivah founded in 1958 closed down, but 1997 saw the arrival of the first Ḥabad representative in Copenhagen. In June 2004 the Danish Jewish Museum was inaugurated by the Queen of Denmark. The opening display showcased not only the exhibits but also Daniel Libeskind's architecture; it presented a far-ranging story of Jewish life in Denmark, emphasizing coexistence and identity over four centuries. During World War I, the world zionist organization established a central office in Copenhagen, and on Oct. 25, 1918, issued the Copenhagen program. This program contained the claims of the Jewish people which were to be presented to the Paris Peace Conference. A museum of ceremonial art objects was established in 1902. The Bibliotheca Judaica Simon-seniana, part of the Royal Library in Copenhagen, is one of the great Jewish libraries of Europe. It comprises the library of Chief Rabbi david simonsen , the collection of the Danish maecenas simon aaron eybeschutz , and the library purchased from lazarus goldschmidt . rafael edelmann became its chief librarian in 1938. For Copenhagen from the Holocaust onward, see denmark . -BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. Fischer, Jødekirkegaarden i Møllegade (1929?); R. Edelmann, in: Exposition de 181 manuscrits, incunables et autres éditions rares de la Bibliotheca Judaica Simonseniana de Copenhague (1952), 5–7; J. Margolinsky, Minder fra Jødekirkegaarden i Møllegade (1957); idem, Chevra kaddischa 1858–1958 (1958); idem, in: AJYB, 63 (1962), 327–33. (Julius Margolinsky)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Copenhagen — Co pen*ha gen, n. [From Copenhagen, Denmark.] 1. A sweetened hot drink of spirit and beaten eggs. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] 2. A children s game in which one player is inclosed by a circle of others holding a rope. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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