In 1987, the Alexander Coppel Comprehensive School (formerly the Solingen Municipal Comprehensive School) assumed sponsorship of the Jewish Cemetery. Since March 1988, a project group has maintained the gravesites and the grounds on Estherweg. In this way, hundreds of students have already become acquainted with the history and culture of the former Jewish community.
The formation of the project group is inseparably connected with the launch of the twin city partnership between Solingen and Ness Ziona in Israel. The partnership document signed in June 1987 by Mayor Nissan Krupsky (Ness Ziona) and Mayor Gerd Kaimer in Solingen states:
“With this partnership, we wish to plant a tree of friendship which cannot hide the painful past of the Jews during the National Socialist regime in Germany, but which can be both a sign of hope and a warning.”
With the founding of the working group, three main priorities were defined:
- Maintenance work in the cemetery
- Correspondence with emigrated Jews from Solingen and their descendants
- Dealing with the topic of “Jews and Germany”
A further focus was added later: The school partnership and student exchange with the Menachem Begin Junior High School in Ness Ziona, Israel.