May 16th, 2009

Jewish Community Centre opened in Leipzig

Leipzig – The Community Centre of the Jewish Community of Leipzig has been officially opened in a ceremony. The new Centre at Ariowitsch House will be open to all citizens of Leipzig regardless of religion. The President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany , Charlotte Knobloch, said the opening of the Centre was a sign that life triumphed. "This house, with its changeful history, is a symbol of survival." Knobloch said the building, erected by the Jewish Ariowitsch family, reflected "the history of this country, the history of this city". It was built as a Jewish nursing home, later it was used by the Gestapo as its headquarters, and still later it housed the US and then the Soviet military administration. "Now we face the task of filling this house with life," said Küf Kaufmann, head of the city's Jewish Community. The Community Centre building, whose renovation and remodelling began in 2006 and cost €4.5 million, contains club and event rooms as well as classrooms. Under the motto "Shalom, dear neighbours", the Community plans to invite the residents of the neighbourhood to visit the new Community Centre during the Jewish Week in Leipzig which will take place on June 21-28. The Jewish Community of Leipzig has about 1,200 members. (16.05.2009)