Royal celebration of the Oslo Synagogue’s 100 years

Both the king and the crown prince participate when the synagogue in Oslo on Thursday marks that it has been in Norway for 100 years. It is a story of much joy, but also sorrow.

Principal Anne Sender together with King Harald and Crown Prince Haakon in 2009 during a visit to the Mosaic faith community and the synagogue in Oslo. Thursday is the day for another royal visit.

Rabbi Joav Melchior emphasizes that the 100th anniversary is a celebration of those who built the synagogue, synagogue life and the entire Jewish community in Norway. Due to the pandemic, the celebration was postponed from May 2020.

– It is a very important celebration for us, as a small religious community. The synagogue in Bergstien was Norway’s first non-Christian house of worship since the Viking Age when it was consecrated in 1920. In that sense, it is also a symbol of religious communities and environments that over time have become part of the Norwegian, says Melchior to NTB.

During the anniversary celebration, they will focus on the positive and the synagogue’s significance.

– It is our house of worship and our home. It is the place we come to feel safe, learn, and where we can develop values ​​and community, says the rabbi.

Royal visit

On Thursday, his father, Chief Rabbi Michael Melchior, will give the keynote address when King Harald and Crown Prince Haakon visit. The two also visited the synagogue together in 2009, when they visited several different denominations in Oslo. Minister for Children and Families Kjersti Toppe (Sp) and Oslo Mayor Marianne Borgen (SV) will also participate in the celebration at 12 noon.

– The Royal House has clarified us on previous visits and with messages when needed. They give an important signal that we are a desired part of society. The story goes all the way back to when Crown Prince Olav came to visit after the reopening of the synagogue after the war, says Joav Melchior.

By the way, it is an old Jewish tradition to pray for the king and Norway every week.

– The King’s Prayer is the only one we read in both Norwegian and Hebrew, says Melchior.

100-year-old: The synagogue in Oslo was Norway’s first non-Christian house of worship when it was consecrated in 1920. Here during a royal visit by Crown Prince Haakon and King Harald, which in 2009 was received by Joav Melchior and principal Anne Sender (right).


He says the Jewish faith community feels welcome and included in Norway.

– As a young rabbi, I experienced the shooting at the synagogue in September 2006. It made a strong impression when we received support from other denominations and the local community. There was a warm hug in the feedback from everyone around us, says Melchior.

It also attracted international attention when Muslim youths after the terrorist attack on the synagogue in Copenhagen in 2015 took the initiative to form a “peace ring” around the synagogue in Oslo. They stood as symbolic shields to show solidarity with the Jews.

Studies have shown that anti-Semitism is a problem that failed to die with World War II and the Holocaust. But we experience that anti-Semitism is a danger that society at large takes seriously and clearly shows that this is something everyone is responsible for, and that we must work together against, says Melchior.

The post Royal celebration of the Oslo Synagogue’s 100 years appeared first on Newsy Today.

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