European rabbi worries about Israel controversy affecting diaspora


Central Europe


A picture of Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu behind bars is seen as members of the Israeli and Jewish community gather to protest outside the Israeli Consulate in New York. Photo AFP, Leonardo Munoz

Former Russian chief rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt says that the current tensions in Israel harm the Jewish community worldwide.

Goldschmidt, the President of the European Rabbinical Conference, points out that Jews all over the world “are held liable for events in Israel and how people are forced to take a stand for one side or the other.” That is reported by Religion.orf based on an article in the Jüdische Allgemeine.

Usually, Israeli politicians were aware of this fact, Goldschmidt points out. “But today, one often gets the feeling that those involved are only pursuing domestic politics and no longer aware of what is happening elsewhere”, he criticises.

Therefore, he calls on Israel to de-escalate the situation and take responsibility for its impact on Jews worldwide. They should look for viable solutions based on justice and responsibility, he pleads.


To set the Jewish community in a positive light, precisely 1700 years after the first Jews settled in Germany, the “Verein Jüdisches Leben in Europa” was established in the German town of Cologne. Its goal is to make the history of the community and its culture available to a large audience, the association writes in a press release. In addition, it wants to establish a network in Europe.

The statutes of the new association state that “anti-Semitic and racist indoctrination of European society should be “positively counteracted and solidarity with Jews should be promoted.” According to the Verein, this “includes strengthening Jewish voices within the mainstream European society now and in the future.”

The new association was set up by several people, including Bishop George Bätzing, chair from the German Bishops’ Conference, Henriette Reker, Mayor of Cologne, Katarina Barley, Vice President of the European Parliament, and Annette Kurschus, the chairwoman of the Council of Protestant Churches in Germany.


Also, in Frankfurt am Main, the Jewish community is developing. There, a Jewish Academy is built. The accommodation should be opened in 2024. The Jewish Academy intends to address critical public discourses and increase acceptance of religious and cultural plurality in Germany, Die Tagespost writes. It will especially focus on combatting ignorance among the population.



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