By Josh Aronson
On Tuesday, the new offices of the Conference of European Rabbis were inaugurated in Munich in a building that belonged to the Jews before the war. The move to Munich from London took place after Brexit.
Susanne Droux, who manages the building where the office is located, told Maariv: “It’s exciting that in a place that once belonged to Jews, they are returning with a rabbinic center that will decide on Judaism and help prevent atrocities like the one in the Holocaust from happening again.”
A couple of Christians from Munich who were also present at the event told Maariv: “We are doing actions and events in collaboration with the Jews of Munich, the horrors that were in the Holocaust – they must not forget and that way those who know Jews understand that there is no difference from them, and therefore we must work together, so that they do not forget. We hope that thanks to the Conference of European Rabbis That here in Munich we can learn and teach more about Jews and thus fight the growing phenomenon of anti-Semitism.”
Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, President of the Conference of Rabbis of Europe emphasized the symbolic significance of the establishment of the main headquarters: “Moving the headquarters to Munich and opening the Center for Jewish Life of the Conference of Rabbis of Europe (CER) is a symbol of hope and a message to all the dark forces that threaten the Jewish people. Munich, a place with history Tragically, today presents a thriving Jewish life. This development is proof that anti-Semitism will not succeed and will not raise its head. We would like to thank the Prime Minister of Bavaria and his Bavarian State Government for their commitment.”Dr. Florian Herrmann, Member of Parliament, Head of the Bavarian State Chancellor and Minister of State for Federal Affairs and communication, emphasized: “The Conference of European Rabbis has reached the heart of Munich. It is a great honor to witness how another beacon of Jewish faith has found a home in Bavaria. We keep our promise to protect Jewish life in Bavaria. “Never again” is our goal in politics and society. Bavaria supports the new ‘Jewish Life Center’ to the extent of 1.5 million Euros per year, thus setting a visible sign against anti-Semitism and for the promotion of Jewish culture and history. We will make sure that Jewish life in all its splendor and diversity has an eternal home in Bavaria.”Prof. Dr. Michael Piazzolo, Member of Parliament, Minister of Education and Culture in Bavaria said: “We will not tolerate hatred, intolerance and anti-Semitism in our schools. Our teachers in Bavaria have been trained to deal with anti-Semitic incidents and have recently been supported in their work against anti-Semitism with a new web portal. Our regional representatives for democracy and tolerance also do important work: in addition to their prevention work, they also intervene when incidents occur. This is unique in Germany.”Dr. Charlotte Knobloch, president of the Jewish community of Munich and Upper Bavaria, added: “With the coming of the Conference of European Rabbis, Munich will strengthen its position as the capital of Jewish life in Europe: the heart of European Jewry beats in Bavaria today. As the president of the Jewish community in Munich, I look forward to further deepening the cooperation with the Conference of Rabbis of Europe. In order to strengthen the Jewish presence in Europe and in the fight against hatred of Jews, we must join forces – and that is exactly what we want to do.”Guests of honour and speakers at the opening ceremony included Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, President of the Conference of European Rabbis (CER), Dr Boris Mints, Chairman of the CER Board of Patrons, Joëlle Aflalo, Vice-Chair of the CER Board of Patrons, Dayan Menachem Gelley, Chairman of the European Beth Din of the CER, Dr Charlotte Knobloch, President of the Jewish Community of Munich and Upper Bavaria, Dr Florian Herrmann, MP, Head of the Bavarian State Chancellery and Bavarian State Minister for Federal Affairs and Media, Professor Dr Michael Piazolo, MP, Bavarian State Minister for Education and Cultural Affairs, Katrin Habenschaden, Deputy Mayor of the City of Munich, Dr Ludwig Spaenle, MP, Anti-Semitism Commissioner of the Bavarian State Government, Thomas Gehring, MP, Vice-President of the Bavarian Parliament, Dr. Wolfgang Heubisch, MP, Vice-President of the Bavarian Parliament and Talya Lador-Fresher, Consul General of the State of Israel.