Posts Tagged ‘berlin’


A mere shadow of former glory

April 25, 2008

I just wanted to quickly point out an interesting article in the Spring 2008 issue of PresenTense. Brauna Doidge (pronounced Deutsch?) spent six week in the “new Jewish Berlin” and pretty accurately debunks the myth of the renewal of Jewish life there. 

Indeed, for each Jewish cultural event that occurs in Germany—the ordination of rabbis, the renovation of synagogues or a new Jewish museum—there is nothing short of a media frenzy. Many have a stake in this “renaissance”: Germans want to show their country has normalized, Jews want to celebrate growing Jewish communities, and the community itself is eager to prove it has recreated life in this formerly thriving center of Jewish activity. But for all the exciting news my Google results offered me, I found an all-too typical Jewish community: racked by in-fighting and pettiness and a mere shadow of its former glory.

Read the entire article here.



German Rabbi: Better be a Jew in Germany than in France

February 22, 2008

This is a pretty standard report on the Jewish community in Germany by RussiaToday, an “English-language news channel to present the Russian point of view on events happening in Russia and around the globe.” The interesting part is toward the end, where Rabbi Yitzchak Ehrenberg speaks. He is the chief rabbi of the Orthodox community in Berlin and also the head of the O.R.D., the conference of Orthodox rabbis in Germany.

Rabbi Ehrenberg said that he feels safe walking the streets in Germany, and, however “perverted” that may be, it is better to be a Jew in Germany than in Belgium or in France. Yet, he “can’t say that the Germans hate us less than the French… Yes, the hate is there, but it’s hidden.”

If the Germans really hate the Jews just as much as the French, then why is it better to live in Germany? Because the hate is hidden? Well, thank you very much. From a rabbi I would have expected he’d rather live in a place where there are Jewish schools, synagogues, kosher shops and restaurants, etc. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that French synagogues don’t pay their rabbis as well as German synagogues…