4 February 2004
VIENNA – The growing number of Jewish communities throughout Europe, including in Germany, will require young rabbis to be increasingly mobile, and to tend to more than one community at a time, a conference of rabbis heard Tuesday in Vienna.
The changing structure of European Judaism meant that rabbis from the Brussels-based Rabbinical Centre of Europe would be sent to Germany, Scandinavia, Russia and Ukraine, to oversee 219 newly- established Jewish communities.
In addition, the meeting of over 40 leading rabbis including Israel’s Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, agreed to restore 80 Torah scrolls, stolen by the Nazis, and make them available to new synagogues.
In a closing statement the rabbis also applauded successful efforts by Germany and other countries to integrate Jews from eastern Europe after the fall of communism. Over 90,000 Jews from eastern Europe have moved to Germany in the past decade.
Surprisingly, however, the conference did not openly discuss the threat of anti-Semitism across Europe.
On Monday EU Commission President Romano Prodi received a humanitarian award from the Rabbinical centre for his work in promoting minority groups in Europe.
Subject: German news