The Ohel Jakob synagogue was built 2004-2006 as the new main synagogue of the Munich Jewish community, located at Sankt-Jakobs-Platz. The synagogue was inaugurated on November 9, 2006, on the 68th anniversary of Kristallnacht. The opening ceremony was led by Charlotte Knobloch, President of Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland. The building is part of the new Jewish Center consisting of the synagogue, the Jewish Museum Munich and a community center.
The synagogue was designed by architects Rena Wandel-Hoefer and Wolfgang Lorch who were awarded the contract after an architecture competition on July 6, 2001.The architects had previously completed the New Synagogue in Dresden. The topping out ceremony was celebrated on October 25, 2005. The building is a cubic structure of travertine stone topped by a glass cube. The glass roof represents a tent (or Ohel), symbolizing Moses' 40-year-journey through the desert. The main portal was manufactured in Budapest and features Hebrew letters depicting the 10 commandments. The interior walls are paneled with warm cedar decorated with golden psalms. It seats 550 worshippers. It cost about US$72 million to build and funding was provided by the city of Munich, the state of Bavaria and Munich's Jewish community. Munich's original main synagogue was destroyed in June 1938 and stood a few blocks away from the new synagogue, on ground that is now a parking ramp.
In 2003, German authorities uncovered a plot by a group of neo-Nazis to bomb the ceremony to lay the cornerstone for the building. Security concerns also led to the decision to house a memorial to Jews killed in the Holocaust in an underground tunnel between the synagogue and the neighboring Jewish Community Center.