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Around a thousand events are organized nationwide under the name #2021JLID - Jewish Life in Germany

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The German Federal Foreign Office will also showcase #2021JLID by a wide range of projects abroad, raising awareness around the world of the long and significant tradition of Jewish life in Germany. (Photo:. auswaertiges-amt.de)

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In 321 A.D, the Roman Emperor Constantine issued an edict (law) on December 11 to stipulate that Jews can and should hold municipal offices in the Kuria, Cologne’s (German: Köln) city administration. This edict clearly shows that Jewish communities have been an integral part of European culture since late antiquity. 

We are celebrating 1,700 years of a verifiable presence of Jews in the current German territory. An early medieval manuscript of this document is now being held in the Vatican City and is evidence of long Jewish history not only in Germany, but also in Europe. Because of this important occasion, public figures and institutions have come together to celebrate this event under the direction of a specially founded association.

Around a thousand events are organized nationwide under the name #2021JLID – Jewish Life in Germany. Including concerts, exhibitions, music, a podcast, video projects, theater, films. We all hope that the pandemic will not force the organizers to move into virtual space and celebrate this important anniversary only via Internet/Zoom. The main aim of the festival in 2021 is to make Jewish life visible and tangible and to counter the growing antisemitism on our continent.  It does not mean that Germany is free of antisemitism or racism, but during the last few years many initiatives have been started to fight all prejudices and violence against Jews. 

Cologne, the city named in German Köln, has even more Jewish secrets to reveal.

As early as the 1950s, archaeologists were digging up the first treasures of the Jewish community under Cologne’s town hall square. At that time, they came across the remains of a synagogue from the 11th century and the ritual women’s bath, mikvah. But when the Rathausplatz (town hall market) was converted into a parking lot during the reconstruction of the destroyed post-war Cologne, the archaeological finds disappeared underground again for decades.

It was not until 2007 that archaeologists tore up the pavement again. And they made a discovery of the century: The jumble of alleys, walls, cellars and stairs uncovered during the excavations turned out to be the entire medieval Jewish quarter of Cologne. This is only one of the numerous cities on today’s German territory, where old evidence of  Jewish  presence was founded.

Thanks to support of the German authorities, many cities with a Jewish community have currently new synagogues in place of the old one, devastated by Nazis. Also the aspects of Jewish life, including concerts or cultural events is being supported by the federal and state government. 

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And not only in Germany, but across the world through the consulates.

For instance, Jews in Israel of German origin are known as Yekkes. The Museum of German-Speaking Jewry, or Yekke Museum, documents their history and the ways in which they have shaped society, business, culture and politics in Israel. The Federal Foreign Office will expend 200,000 euro in 2021 to support the Museum’s move to the Haifa Center for German and European Studies of the University of Haifa as well as the Hecht Museum, which is also based there.

In Turkey, guitar player Lucian Plessner will take a tour with the programme All Jewish through Jewish music from the early Baroque to the present. The concert will conclude the Mahalla Festival in Istanbul in 2021 and is organised by the cultural association Diyalog Derneği in cooperation with the German Consulate General in Istanbul and the Schneidertempel in Istanbul. The Schneidertempel is a former synagogue from the 19th century

In Latin America, the German Embassy in Panama City will host an exhibition on the history of the Berlin Jewish Hospital, which is more than 250 years old. 

A special postage stamp was issued to commemorate the 1700th anniversary of Jewish life in Germany (Image: Supplied)

Today, in the Central Council of Jews in Germany, 105 Jewish communities are united in 23 regional associations, to which around 100,000 Jews belong (as of 2019[1]). They make up 95 percent of all organized German Jews.

The remaining five percent are distributed among around 40 Jewish cultural associations (e.g. Jüdischer Kulturverein Berlin) and liberal communities, of which around 20 are organized in the Union of Progressive Jews in Germany.

Contrary to its self-image, they reject the Central Council as being orthodox. Jewish life in Germany has many diverse facets, but all Jews are an integrated part of the modern German society.

https://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/1232/umfrage/anzahl-der-juden-in-deutschland-seit-dem-jahr-2003/

[1]Statista.de, Anzahl der Mitglieder der jüdischen Gemeinden in Deutschland von 2002 bis 2019 (Number of members of the Jewish communities in Germany from 2002 to 2019),  https://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/1232/umfrage/anzahl-der-juden-in-deutschland-seit-dem-jahr-2003/.

Justyna Michniuk is an experienced journalist, originally from the former Yugoslavia. She was previously published in the Polish Jewish magazine MIDRASZ, and is now writing for the German/Israeli Website hagalil.com and for anyone asking for ‘Jewish topics’.

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

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