Michael Lenarz


Offenbach, Germany


Michael Lenarz is a historian based in Offenbach who specialises in the history of Jews in Frankfurt and the surrounding area. He worked at the Jewish Museum Frankfurt from 1985-2022, initially as a research assistant and since 2012 as deputy director. He is a founding member of the Max Dienemann / Salomon Formstecher Society and has been its 2nd Chairman since 1997. He has been a member of the advisory board of the Central Archive for Research into the History of Jews in Germany since 2013 and a member of the board of the Commission for the History of Jews in Hesse since 2017.


Founded in 1995, the Max Dienemann / Salomon Formstecher Gesellschaft Offenbach e.V. sees itself as a forum for contemporary Judaism. The events organised by the society – lectures, panel discussions, discussion evenings, historical tours and excursions as well as readings and concerts – are intended to convey an authentic picture of Jewish life from a historical and contemporary perspective.

The focus is on the legacy of German Jewry, which was destroyed in the Shoah. We see the three-hundred-year history of Offenbach’s Jews as part of the history of our urban community and the reciprocal influences. Our society particularly wants to uncover the traces of Judaism that were formative in Offenbach for more than a century and are associated with the names of Rabbis Dr Salomon Formstecher (1808-1889) and Dr. Max Dienemann (1875-1939). While Rabbi Formstecher was an outstanding representative of the Reform movement, Rabbi Dienemann was a leading representative of Jewish liberalism. Both rabbis were recognised beyond Offenbach.

The society has also published several publications, e.g. on Rabbi Max Dienemann’s contribution to Jewish theology, on the “Stele of Remembrance” at the site of the former synagogue in Große Marktstraße and on the former synagogue in Goethestraße.