How much courage does it take to be a jew?

How much courage does it take to be a jew?

Religious diversity in Germany © Monika Skolimowska

The number of anti-Semitic attacks is increasing. How much courage does it take to live Jewishly?? And how Jews in Germany see their future? This is the answer of author Jonas Fegert, who unites Jewish voices in a book.

Interviewer: "Because I want to live here" is an anthology that deals with the future of Jewish life in Germany. How much courage does it take today to publicly profess one’s Jewishness??

Jonas Fegert (co-editor of the anthology "Because I Want to Live Here"): I don’t know if it takes so much courage to publicly profess Judaism or more courage than at other times. What actually exists – and this is what we try to describe in the anthology – is a diversity of Jewish life in Germany. It enables a different kind of Jewish life and makes it easier to live Jewishly. Of course, there are cases of anti-Semitism, but there have also been cases of anti-Semitism in the past. The reporting portals for this have improved, and that is a great help for the Jewish communities.

Interviewer: You mentioned diversity. It is also about the fact that the Jewish communities have to be more courageous and that they have to allow this diversity. To what extent?

Fegert: What we describe is at the same time an inventory. It also reports on the work of the Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Studienwerk, a Jewish community study program that has been around for nearly ten years. We wanted to show what diversity has been created within the Jewish community through this fellowship program. There are Jews from the former Soviet Union, Israelis, German Jews of different denominations who have exchanged ideas about Jewish identity. The book bears witness to this. It shows what moves us and what we want to do with Jewish life.

Interviewer: Among them, directions are being heard that have not been heard so far. Now we are trying to allow this diversity. How does this fit together?? What do I do with diversity??

Fegert: I believe that this diversity should not be underestimated. It took a long time to create this state of affairs. This was a long process, even in relation to the classical Jewish institutions, and perhaps we have not yet arrived there either. There are still unanswered questions, for example the question of the "father Jew. The term refers to people who consider themselves Jewish, but have only a Jewish father and no Jewish mother, and therefore are not Jewish according to Jewish law. But you define yourself as a Jew and you also want to be part of the Jewish community. What is offered to them? I think there are still many questions that have not been answered within the Jewish community.

Interviewer: Are there in the 21. In the twenty-first century, something like a German Jewry?

Fegert: There are voices, which are also found in the book, who are concerned about the future of Jewish life in Germany and Europe. There is actually a Judaism, which did not exist in Germany in the 60s/70s. That says, we actually like living here, but we also want to be involved in society and also demand something from society. For example, to recognize the diversity of society. I think that’s where the image of Germany has actually changed among Jews living in Germany.

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