MARGOA’s Special History

The Israelitische Alters- und Pflegeheim in Lengnau has been in existence for over 110 years, and the present direction continues to carry on this tradition successfully and with pride. It is well known that the Israelitische Alters- und Pflegeheim in the Surb Valley was established in 1903, thanks to a generous donation by the Copper-Guggenheims in the US. In 1848, the Meyer-Guggenheim family, living in poverty at the time, emigrated from Lengnau to the US. The Guggenheims still spoke their own mix of Swiss German and “Surbtaler” Yiddish well into the 20th century, and continued to send their offspring to Switzerland. By the late 19th century the Lengnau Guggenheims were one of the wealthiest families in the United States. Their donation in 1903 was not the only one; support to Lengnau in Aargau from the US came frequently during and after the Second World War — often in adventurous ways. Relations with the internationally active Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York still exist to this day. The Israelitische Alters- und Pflegeheim in Lengnau is also an important part of the “Jüdischer Kulturweg Lengnau-Endingen”, established in 2009 by former Federal Councillor Ruth Dreifuss.