Etz Chaim -
Tree of Life - Lebensbaum
February 2004 the first Progressive Jewish Synagogue in the history of Vienna
opened its gates at Robertgasse. A Tree of Life has taken a prominent place in
our new synagogue. But its leaves are still bare, and therefore we need your
Sponsoring a leaf on our etz chaim is the perfect
opportunity to honor your ancestors or mark special occasions in a very
traditional Jewish manner. You can place an eternal text to remember members
of your family, friends, important events or memories from the past.
In 1990 a small but dedicated group of Jews in Vienna, Austria
decided to form the city's first Progressive community, aimed at bringing New
Light into the Jewish life in the city, hence the name, Or Chadasch. Fourteen
years later the community is still here, a fact which lends testimony to the
dedication, determination and unshakeable faith of its member, both past and
This year brought a turning point in the long struggle for
survival. Funding for a synagogue was granted by the Austrian government and
the Vienna City Council. So at long last we were able to have our own
synagogue with adjacent Kiddush hall, study room and office.
However, the money from the state and city only covers the
barest necessities, the absolute minimum. The building was in a desolate
state, and it took all our funds to make it useable. There is no money left
for a vital but expensive security system, or for religious objects or
decorations. Of course it is wonderful to have our own place of worship, and
we are very grateful for it, even if it is rather spartan.
Vienna is a city with a long and rich Jewish tradition,
interrupted but not destroyed by the Nazi atrocities, and we believe in its
future, that we owe it to ourselves to secure that future, and more
importantly we owe it to those were murdered and thus deprived not only of
their lives, but also of their rightful place in Vienna's present and future
If you have a relative or friend who perished in the Holocaust,
or a family member who has passed away, their names can be remembered in a
very special way. The name of the lost Shtetl that was once home to
your ancesters can find a place on one of the leaves.
But there are also other occasions for adding a leaf to our
Tree of Life: a yahrtzeit, the birth of a child, in
recognition of a wedding anniversary, in honor of a special occasion,
such as bat/bar mitzvah.
leaves are brass (8x11 cm) and can be engraved with a personal message. Or
Chadasch offers you full service in making the leaves. You chose the text in
any language. We have already prepared some samples texts (see below) for your
convenience. One leaf costs €350. This price includes the artist-created leaf,
the engraving, a donation to our synagogue, and all fees.
Suggested Engraving text:
"In Loving Memory of First Lastname"
“In Gedenken an die Opfer des Ghettos von Belchatow, Polen”
"In Honor of Aron Stonefeld's Bar Mitzvah"
“In Honor of the Wedding of Sarah and Allan Schwarz”
“Zu Ehren von Familie Green”
But there are also other ways to show your support for our
community. Funds are urgently needed for the synagogue’s security system.
Bronze plaques for engraving by companies and other organizations have a place
in the entrance hall. We also need Siddurim (prayer books) which can be
dedicated to a loved one with a name inscribed inside.
Of course we welcome all contributions, however large or small,
and even if you don't have anyone you would specially like remembered your
donation will help to keep alive the memory of the 65,000 murdered Austrian
Jews and serve as a witness to the rebirth and continuation of Jewish life in
this beautiful city.
Contact us now. May you be blessed for your generosity!