The Museum’s café is a comfortable meetingpoint for visitors and regulars – equipped with a large number of international newspapers and magazines. Enjoy the atmosphere, a good cappucino or kosher wine, bagels with lox and cream cheese or the café’s specialty: the Jewish wedding cake, following the recipe included in the yiddish love letter from Hohenems from 1675, which visitors find in the permanent exhibition.
The walls of the room are decorated with statues of the Hohenems Reading Society which was founded in 1813 and was revived in 2004.
On February 1, 1813, Hohenems Jews founded a private society: Its purpose: “informal gatherings of the members, finding diversion in discourse and the reading of most remarkable passages of periodicals and books.”
The reading society soon had about 30 – predominantly young – Jewish members, among them teachers, clerks and secretaries employed by Hohenems merchants. Although the society existed for only a few years, it was the first sign of the emerging tendencies of reform and enlightenment within the Jewish community.
Judging by a list of books found in the Löwenberg-house (Schweizer Str. 4), Jewish Hohenems of those times was familiar with the major works of the Enlightenment and contemporary drama.
In 2004, the Hohenems Reading Society was revived, reestablishing a culture of literature and discourse once flourishing in Hohenems, by public readings and discussions about literature in the café. The Reading Society also takes part in the organisation of the Hohemens Prize for German literature written by writers with non-German mother tongue, awarded every two years since 2009.