Hebelstraße 15–19, 60318 Frankfurt am Main
Hebelstraße 15–19,
60318 Frankfurt am Main
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Isaak E. Lichtigfeld School in the Philanthropin

In 1908 the Philanthropin, which was founded by the Frankfurt Jewish Community in 1804 as a “Place of Humanity,” moved into its new domicile at Hebelstrasse 15-19. Berlin city building commissioner Georg Matzdoff and engineer Ernst Hiller won the bid for a new school to be built in neo-renaissance style.1 Concept and furnishings were based on the latest pedagogical methods with allowances for gender separation.2 The two highly ornamented portals symbolize this most eloquently: The boys’ door is decorated with water-bearers, the girls’ with mermaids. In the middle of each door is a medallion containing a beehive, which stands for industriousness and self-sacrifice for the good of the community, the guiding principle of the Philanthropin.  The school was able to exist under the National Socialist dictatorship until it was taken over in 1942 to be used as a reserve military hospital and emergency shelter. Until it was able to resume its original function as the Isaak Emil Lichtigfeld School, the building experienced a variety of uses. Today approximately 480 boys and girls go to school there. In keeping with its original tradition, the school is open to pupils of all faiths. 
  1. Borgwart, Judith (1988): Das Philantropin [sic]. Magisterarbeit. Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main. Kulturanthropologie und europäische Ethnologie, S. 178.
  2. Schlotzhauer, Inge (1990): Das Philanthropin, 1804-1942. Die Schule der Israelitischen Gemeinde in Frankfurt am Main. Frankfurt am Main: W. Kramer, S. 80.