Renee Steinig <rsteinig@...>
Monica Kingreen, the German historian, scholar, and Obermayer German Jewish
History Award winner, will give the dedicatory address on Sunday, June 12,
at a ceremony marking the donation of 200-year-old German Torah ornaments to
the Judaica Museum in Riverdale, New York.
The rare silver tas (Torah breastplate) and rimmonim (finials) were made in
Fuerth in the late 18th century by the master silversmith Johann Jakob
Runnecke, also known as "Meister Rimmonim." They were used by the Jewish
community of Meerholz, a small town 20 miles east of Frankfurt, until it
disbanded in the late 1930s. The ornaments, which had been donated to the
Meerholz synagogue by a member of the Stern family, were then returned to my
father's first cousin Leo Stern.
The silver was nearly confiscated in Frankfurt during Kristallnacht, after
Leo and family hurriedly left Germany without their belongings. Later, my
father packed the contents of their apartment, including the Torah
ornaments, and arranged for their shipment to America. The Sterns settled in
Glens Falls, New York, and have had the silver in their home there for over
Leo's son Walter, born in Meerholz in 1914, will be a guest of honor at the
ceremony. He and my father (Carl Stern, 1907-1963) were raised on the same
street in Meerholz. The town was home to five generations of Sterns,
beginning with Loeb Mayer Stern (1786-1842), who settled there in about 1805.
Monica Kingreen, who is associated with the Fritz Bauer Institute in
Frankfurt, has studied and written about numerous German Jewish communities,
including Windecken, Heldenbergen and Ostheim. She will speak at the event
on the Jewish community of Meerholz and the history of these objects.
The museum's director, Karen Franklin, is head of the Family Research
Program at the Leo Baeck Institute, former president of the International
Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, and a member of the GerSIG
The event will take place >from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Sunday at the Judaica
Museum, which is located in the RiverWalk building of the Hebrew Home for
the Aged, 5961 Palisade Avenue, Riverdale. Directions are at
You are very welcome to join us at this very special event, which fittingly
will be held on Erev Shavuot -- the festival that celebrates the receiving
of the Torah. Light refreshments will be served.
Renee Stern Steinig Dix Hills, New York, USA email@example.com