January 2018

The last few years have been challenging for Jewish communities throughout Europe. Many Jews have emigrated from their homes in France, the Scandinavian countries, or even England. But not Germany! The Jewish population is actually increasing, including a large number of Israelis.

Who could have imagined after the end of World War II that the greatest place for Jews to visit, work, or even raise a family is Berlin. Seventy-three years after the horrors of the Holocaust and twenty-nine years since the fall of the Berlin Wall there are numerous synagogues (including Conservative Movement affiliated), more kosher restaurants than Boston ever had, a world-class Jewish museum, and even a cabinet-level government official dedicated to Jewish relations.  Berlin is the new mecca for Jewish life in Europe. In a nutshell, amazing.

This revelation came to light during my extraordinary trip to Germany the summer of 2016. I, along with eleven other Boston area rabbis, visited Germany as the guest of the German Government and the German Consul General to New England, Dr. Ralf Horlemann. The mission changed my previous perspective of Germany and our Jewish connection there for the good. After the trip, I wrote a number of messages about my experience and the friendship I made with our host, Dr. Horlemann.

At my “Bar Mitzvah” celebration last April, Dr. Horlemann was one of the guest presenters. It has been my hope to formally bring Dr. Horlemann to Beth Sholom to speak to our congregation. I am excited to announce that this hope is coming to fruition.

On Friday night, January 12th, Temple Beth Sholom will welcome The German Consul General to New England. Dr. Horlemann will speak on the topic of: “Germans and Jews – Personal Reflections on a Deep Relationship.”

Come and learn through the eyes of our guest speaker why Germany is the fastest growing Jewish community outside of Israel.

I’m also excited to announce that Congregation Or Atid will be joining us for the program.  Our Temple’s USYers will be leading many of the prayers before Dr. Horlemann’s presentation. Don’t miss this very special Shabbat evening at TBS.

Rabbi, Dr. Laurence Bazer