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July 17, 1992 - Image 56

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-07-17

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FRIDAY, JULY 17, 1992

Special to The Jewish News


long the lakeside in
Geneva, the sights are
varied. Pleasure boats
bob on the waters. Tourists
and natives stroll along, ad-
miring the flowers, the swans
gracefully gliding on water
and the sight of the Alps in
the distance.
Nearby is a rose garden,
with over 10,000 flowers in
bloom of over 256 species.
Also near the lake is the -clock
of flowers and the jet d'eau,
the jet of water that foams in-
to the sky and is the highest
water fountain in Europe.
Lake Geneva is just one of
the attractions in the
cosmopolitan and beautiful
city of Geneva. The third
largest city in Switzerland,
situated in the south right at
the border to France, has a
French ambiance and also is
highly cosmopolitan in style.
It's a city of expansive
gardens and varied sightsee-
ing attractions ranging from
the Old City to the modern
complex where numerous
world organizations have
their headquarters.
Jewish Geneva reflects the
tone of the city —
cosmopolitan and active. The
world headquarters of a
number of Jewish organiza-
tions are located here, in-
cluding the World Jewish
Congress. The 5,000 Jewish
residents of Geneva enjoy an
active cultural and religious
Jewish life.
Jewish travelers can sample
the city's Jewish attractions
in various ways. A good star-
ting point is a visit to its two
major synagogues. On Place
de la Synagogue in downtown
Geneva stands the Geneva
Synagogue, a massive Moor-
ish-style structure with its
distinctive dome visible from

the distance.
Inside, the sanctuary is
dignified and simple in style,
with stained glass windows
and arches.
It looks new because it's
been recently renovated, with
half the funds provided by the
Canton of Geneva. (A Swiss
canton is roughly equivalent
to a state.) The other half of
the funds were raised by the
Jewish community of Geneva.
"The canton contributed to
recognize that the synagogue
is part of the architectural
history of the canton," ex-
plains Henri Milstein.
In fact, the synagogue is
now a national monument.
"It belongs to all the people
of Geneva; it's part of the
cultural heritage of the can-
ton," says Mr. Milstein, who is
director of the Communate
Israelite de Geneva, the um-
brella group for Geneva's
Jewish community.
A second major synagogue
in Geneva is Hekhal Haness
at 54 Route de Malagnou; it
is the religious home of the
city's Sephardic Jews.
From a distance, it looks
like a lavish estate — a
modern building, beautifully
landscaped, with leaves of ivy
climbing over its walls and a
patio filled with flowers.
"It's one of the most
beautiful synagogues in all of
Europe,' says Lorent Cohen, a
student from Algeria who is
spending several months in
Inside, the floors are rose
marble; the walls of the foyer
are covered with modern art.
In the spacious sanctuary,
which seats 300, is a massive
glass chandelier. Inside the
ark are valuable Torahs from
Iraq, Iran and Israel.
dedicated in 1972, and its
members come from Egypt,
Morroco, and Algeria, says

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