Munich's Jewish Community Celebrates

by Baila Olidort - MUNICH, GERMANY

February 25, 2004

“No other Jewish initiative has enriched the Jewish community of Munich as much as the activities of Chabad,” said Mrs. Charlotte Knobloch, Vice President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany and president of Munichï¿œs Jewish community. Knobloch addressed her comments to a sold out audience of 600 at Gasteig, Munich’s largest and most elegant cultural center. The event was a celebration marking 15 years of Chabad-Lubavitch in Munich, and the music of Jewish-Chasidic singer Avraham Fried was as joyful and lively as the Jewish experience of Munich’s Jewish community in recent years. Rabbi and Mrs. Israel and Chanie Diskin, first Chabad-Lubavitch Shluchim to Germany, arrived in Munich back in 1988, nine months before the fall of the Berlin Wall, when “very few if anyone at all in Germany had heard of Chabad,” says Mrs. Diskin. With the influx of Jews from former Soviet countries that followed soon after, their activities assumed much greater intensity and variety than they had imagined. The Diskins threw themselves into the challenge, working in tandem with the local Jewish community and their educational institutions. Today, Germany’s Jewish population of 120,000 is served by Chabad centers in 11 cities in Germany, including Frankfurt, Cologne, Berlin, Potsdam, Offenbach, Stuttgart, Dusseldorf, Dresden, Karlsruhe and Hamburg. Attending the celebration were Munich’s local Rabbi Steven Langnas and many prominent members of the local Jewish community, including president of the Jewish community, presidents of the local Hadassah Wizo and UJA branches. “Fifteen years of Chabad means 15 years of vibrant yiddishkeit, 15 years of heartfelt help and support for Jewish people, 15 years of active involvement in all Jewish community matters.”

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