The first Jewish community in Potsdam was founded in 1740, and a burial ground was added on today's Pfingstberg Hill from 1743 onwards. Jechiel Michel became first rabbi in Potsdam in 1760.
The community built its first synagogue on Plantation No. 1 in the rear building in 1767. At that time there were 34 men, 36 women and an unknown number of children in the Jewish community. In 1851, Doctor Samuel Apolant took up the office of rabbi in the second synagogue – which was consecrated in 1802; the Jewish Women’s Association was founded at this time, too.
The largest synagogue of the Potsdam community was consecrated in 1903 on Wilhelmplatz – today’s Platz der Einheit. It was attacked and desecrated in the November Pogroms in 1938. In April 1945 a fire bomb air raid damaged the synagogue so badly that the ruins had to be demolished. Today a memorial plaque reminds of the synagogue.
After the political changes in Germany Jewish emigrants from the former Soviet Union settled in Potsdam. 1991, the Jewish Community of Brandenburg was founded, its members accommodated in Brandenburg, Potsdam and at the Ahrensfelde reception centre. Orthopedist Doctor A. Kogan was elected chairman. Two years later, in November 1993, with the help of Brandenburg's Minister of Culture, Mr. Hinrich Enderlein, the community succeeded in gaining recognition as a public corporation.
Since membership was constantly increasing, the Jewish inhabitants of Potsdam decided to establish their own official community in 1996. 2000 the community was registered at Potsdam District Court. The Jewish Community of the State of Brandenburg was declared the holding organisation.