11 June 2007
Hamburg (dpa) - Hamburg's Jewish centre returned to its home in the city's Grindel quarter, with a ceremony inaugurating the new premises in the Talmud-Torah Synagogue, or Shul, attended by some 280 invited guests.
Renovated at a cost of 3 million euros (4 million dollars), the new Shul also houses a shelter and from the beginning of the next academic year, the re-founded Joseph Carlebach School.
In 1933, when the Nazis came to power in Germany under Adolf Hitler, around a quarter of the city's 20,000-strong Jewish community lived in the Grindel quarter between Dammtor railway station and the Isebek canal.
"This is a big step into a future, in which we all hope that living among each other will once again be normal," said Andreas Wankum, chairman of the city's Jewish community.
"The return to the Grindel quarter means the heart of Jewish life is now beating in its proper place," he said.
The ceremony was rounded off with a party on the square in front of the Shul for members, neighbours and friends.
For the first time the Herbert Weichmann Medal was awarded, honouring those - both Jewish and non-Jewish - who have contributed to Jewish life in Germany.
The first recipients were Paul Spiegel, the late president of the German Jewish Council, and Hermann-Hinrich Reemtsma, who received the medal posthumously.
Subject: German news
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