ShUM-Sites on the Rhine – Jewish heritage for the world

Did you know that…


is an acronym out of the first letters of the medieval Hebrew names for the cities, even going back to the Latin names?

  • Shin (Sch) = Shpira = Speyer
  • Waw (U) = Warmaisa = Worms
  • Mem (M) = Magenza = Mainz

ShUM: more than simply an abbreviation and certainly not a simple crunching together of the names of three cities. ShUM is a full name – along the Rhine River and in the world. ShUM was the cradle of Ashkenazic Jewry.

Discover the Kehillot ShUM with us

During the Middle Ages the Jewish communities in the medieval cities of Speyer, Worms, and Mainz formed an association which had a profound influence on the architecture, culture, religion, and jurisdiction of European Jewish Diaspora. This influence continues, even today. Monuments – synagogues, cemeteries, and ritual baths – together with the religious accounts, illustrate and witness the immense significance of the ShUM-cities.

Imagefilms on ShUM-Sites

Underneath you will find our Teaser with wonderful images from ShUM as well as the sshort version with English subtitles.
A long version with english subtitles is available under:

Future for Religious Heritage in Europe

Becoming a Supporting Member of ShUM-Cities Ass.

The Shum-Cities: A sponsoring membership can e.g. support redevelopment measures on the monuments, the development of educational and museum programs, film screenings, publications and other events. Sponsoring members are informed about strategies and concepts within the framework of the UNESCO application and are invited to meet with other members.

Voices for ShUM: Engagement and Empathy

»Our membership campaign seems to be fruitful. The persons and personalities who engage themselves in the Shum-Cities Ass.are unified in their wish to experience how the Jewish heritage on the Rhine becomes a UNESCO World Heritage.«
(Lord Mayor Michael Kissel, President of ShUM-Cities Ass)

»When I grew up in Worms, with a view of the cathedral and the Jewish cemetery, and as a child, I was able to stay and play between these two poles – perhaps even supplemented by the Luther monument five minutes further – it was unavoidable to form a relationship to this specific Christian-Jewish past. Again and again, as a child, I looked at the small stones on the weathered, obliquely and crooked gravestones stuck in the ground in the Jewish cemetery and tried to imagine what Worms probably looked like a thousand years ago when this cemetery - the oldest in Europe - and the Romanesque Cathedral were erected. Now I have been living in a city with a Christian-Jewish past again, for almost 20 years: in Mainz, the second of the three SchUM-Cities. Reason enough for me to contribute to the preservation and care of this particular heritage.«
(Petra Gerster, editor ZDF)

»One still feels the rabbinic genius loci in the ShUM-Cities. An excursion to these places always gives me inspiration. It is therefore a concern for me to promote the legacy of the ShUM-Cities with my membership.«
(Rabbi Dr Elisa Klapheck, Frankfurt/Main)

»In the 1000 years of Jewish history, monuments were built in the cities of Speyer, Worms and Mainz, which still mirror the significance of Jewish life beyond the borders of our region. In order to preserve this memory, we support the ShUM-Cities Associations’ application of this important cultural property for the title of UNESCO World Heritage.«
(Thorsten Mühl, Chairman of the Board Sparkasse Mainz)

Current events

The information on forthcoming and past events is available only on the German language version of the website. There you can find an overview of dates, places, and topics.