In April 1997 the association was founded by the initiative of dedicated citizens and by the political community Gailingen initially as “Förderverein Bürgerhaus Gailingen”. Primary goal was to raise funds (donations and financing through public sector entities) for rehabilitation measures of the former Jewish school and community house. Primary target, however, was the establishment of a documentation centre of Jewish history and culture around the Lake Constance and in the High Rhine region, inter alia by building up a collection and a museum.
The association has more than 130 members from Gailingen, the region, Switzerland and overseas.
The rehabilitation measures of the community house have successfully been finalized in 1998. Since its foundation varied activities have been undertaken. Speeches and lectures on various subjects of Jewish life, of the interreligious dialogue, but also about personal biographies. Art and culture from painting and literature, dance and canto to cabaret have been a focal point just as lectures on subjects like the holocaust and moral courage. Worth mentioning is the exposition on the Jewish history of Gailingen and the surrounding communities Randegg, Wangen and Worblingen, the photo documentation of houses former Jewish citizens and the interviews with Jewish contemporary witnesses.
In 2008 the association started to install the Jewish museum. To commemorate the 70th recurrence of the pogrom night of November 1938 the first room “The synagogue of Gailingen” has solemnly been opened. Further museum rooms followed. Today the museum has been completed with seven rooms presenting special subjects and one media room.
Museum and association enjoy a respectable public interest. In this connection the work with pupils and young people plays an important role. School classes and ecclesiastic groups from Gailingen, the region and from Switzerland accept the mentoring service with great interest.
The association possesses a respectable archive with many original documents of Jewish life in Gailingen and the other Jewish communities in the Hegau region, but also Judaica as well as a very well equipped library. These sources are used inter alia by pupils, students, but also by historians for school and other works. The archive and the library are continuously enlarged by donations and estates of former Jewish fellow citizens and their descendants.
There is a genealogical database available with more than 50,000 data sets on Jewish people, who once lived in the Jewish communities Gailingen, Randegg, Wangen and Worblingen, as well as their descendants around the world.
In November 1999 the association received a complimentary award by the Kulturförderkreis Singen e.V. (circle for culture promotion). At the state-wide competition to commend communal activities of citizens in 2007 the association received an appreciation for exemplary accomplishments by Minister-President Oettinger.
The association manages its tasks by personal commitment on voluntary basis and finances itself by membership fees and donations.