September 20th, 2009

The size of Germany 's Jewish community has quadrupled

Berlin – The Jewish communities in Germany have quadrupled their membership in the last 20 years. Today they have around 120,000 registered members, which is four times more than in 1989, according to a press release issued by the Central Council of Jews in Germany on 22 September. This increase is mainly due to the immigration from the former Soviet Union . In the last two decades, 220,000 people have come to Germany as Jewish immigrants. According to the Central Council's information, about 50 percent of them are Jewish under Jewish religious law, the rest being persons of Jewish descent and non-Jewish spouses. The Central Council views the immigration of Jews from the former Soviet Union – that has declined considerably in recent years – as a "psychological turning point": Before it Jewish life in Germany had been anything but a matter of course, which has changed now. Since 1989, new synagogues have been build in many cities, and the number of community rabbis has tripled. Today the Central Council of Jews in Germany has 107 member communities. (22.09.2009)