Of extraordinary significance are the material remains that have been preserved or newly brought to public notice in the three ShUM cities: in Speyer above all the communal Jewish buildings with synagogue and mikvah, in Worms “Holy Sand Cemetery”, the oldest Jewish cemetery in Europe, as well as the synagogue (destroyed in 1938, reopened in 1961) and mikvah, and in Mainz the “Memorial Cemetery”.
The Shum Cities of the Rhine
Speyer (Shpira) – Worms (Warmaisa) – Mainz (Magenza)
Since the High Middle Ages the three Jewish centers of the mid-Rhine region, Mainz, Worms and Speyer have been known by the acronym ShUM, composed of the first letter of the city names in Hebrew - Shin (Shpira), Waw (Warmaisa), and Mem (Magenza). The aura of the ShUM communities and the importance of the scholars and houses of learning, as well as the diverse traditions that are connected with them, explains the singular status of the three communities for Ashkenazic Judaism.