August 11th, 2005

Migration to Germany

Until 31 December 2004 the immigration of Jews from countries in the former Soviet Union was governed by the Quota Law. This was revoked on 1 January 2005 by the new Immigration Act.

From 1989 onwards 220,000 people arrived in Germany as what were called “quota refugees”. More than half of them have been integrated into Jewish communities in Germany.

One key task of the Central Council of Jews in Germany is to integrate Jewish immigrants from countries of the former Soviet Union into the Jewish communities. The Central Council establishes the essential preconditions for integration by offering immigrants in the Jewish communities a wide range of language courses. The Central Council also enables people to explore their Jewish roots and their Jewish faith, which they were unable to live by for many years in their countries of origin, acquainting them with Jewish rites and customs and with knowledge of Judaism. In this they are assisted by trained staff and rabbis. This is the only meaningful way to anchor people willing to assume tasks and responsibilities within their Jewish communities and to let them share in community life. This is a difficult task that the Central Council will need to pursue with vigour in coming few years.

The Jewish communities in Germany currently have 105,000 members.