Switzerland / German-Speaking Switzerland

Zurich

Swiss Federation of Hebrew Communities

Gotthardstrasse 65, Case postale 2105, 8027 Zurich

Israelitische Cultusgemeinde Zurich

Lavaterstrasse 33, 8002 Zürich, Switzerland

Israelitische Religionsgesellschaft

Freigutstrasse 37, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland

Or Chadasch Synagogue

Hallwylstrasse 78, 8004 Zürich, Switzerland

Agudas Achim Synagogue

Erikastrasse 8, 8003 Zürich, Switzerland

Zurich contains the headquarters of the  Swiss Federation of Hebrew Communities, founded in 1904 and whose archives were recently entrusted to the Zurich Federal Polytechnic School for better preservation there. The collection includes the documents from JUNA, the FSCI press office, the Union of Jewish Mutal Aid Societies, the Swiss Refugees Council, the Union of Jewish Students, and the Action Group for Jews in the Soviet Union, along with extensive private archives.

The former ghetto of the Brunnengasse was the site of a 1349 pogrom against the Jews, who were accused of having spread the plague. A commemorative plaque was unveiled 650 years later at 4 Froschausgasse, where the former synagogue stood. The narrow, nameless alley that leads to the Neumarkt was renamed Synagogengasse.

Today the  Israelitische Cultusgemeinde Zurich (ICZ), founded in 1862, represents the most important Jewish community in Switzerland. The ICZ’s synagogue, at the corner of the Löwenstrasse and Nuschelerstrasse, was built in 1884 in Moorish style; it features a beige and red-striped facade, two towers topped by domes, and traditional windows. Its Community Center houses as well the kosher restaurant Shalom.

In addition, three disctint Jewish communities inhabit the city, each centered upon its won synagogue: the Orthodox  Israelitische Religionsgesellschaft; the Reform  Or Chadasch community; and finally, the sizable Hasidic community around the  Agudas Achim Synagogue, which gives off a truly shtetl ambiance.