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Jewish community state funding doubled

The Local · 1 Dec 2011, 07:20

Published: 01 Dec 2011 07:20 GMT+01:00

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The Central Council of Jews in Germany said late Wednesday that it would receive €10 million ($13 million) from the government each year from 2012, up from €5 million currently.

Council president Dieter Graumann said the funding boost came in response to the new range of responsibilities for a community that has exploded in size in the last two decades, now amounting to more than 220,000.

"The Central Council has developed into a coordination centre that is playing an ever more important role in the Jewish community as well as in German society as a whole," he said.

"The new treaty shows that the German government also has a positive view of our role."

Graumann said the updated treaty, replacing a ground-breaking accord from 2003, was the result of intensive negotiations with the government.

Under the original treaty, the government pledged to maintain German Jewish cultural heritage and to help integrate the council politically and socially.

It put the Jewish community on a similar footing as the Lutheran and Catholic churches in Germany, which also receive state funding.

The pact foresaw helping with the upkeep of Jewish cemeteries and synagogues, subsidising religious research centres and earmarking funds to train rabbis and cantors to tend to a rising number of Jewish immigrants.

Graumann said the council was now also focusing on working with young Jews.

"Only a successful integration of youth in Jewish life will guarantee our future," he said, adding that dialogue between religions and public relations had also become increasingly important for the council.

Before the Nazis' rise to power in 1933, Germany had one of Europe's strongest Jewish communities with more than 530,000 members.

By the start of World War II in 1939, only 200,000 remained as many had emigrated to escape the Nazi killing machine. Just a few thousand survived the Holocaust, which claimed the lives of six million Jews across Europe.

Story continues below…

Since 1989, when there were about 30,000 Jews living in Germany, some 220,000 more have arrived from the former Soviet Union after Berlin made it easier for them to obtain citizenship.

In the early 1990s, more Jews were immigrating to Germany than to Israel.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

07:46 December 1, 2011 by Englishted
If as so often is stated times are hard ,then please stop funding to all religions ,

as god will provide won't he/she/it/they.
09:22 December 1, 2011 by asteriks
They found one more way to steal money from budget (give to associations and share under table when nobody see). Did they give millions to Turkish or former Yugoslavians associations? It would be nice to know how much money get all of them.
10:56 December 1, 2011 by bobmarchiano
I'am with the two of you WHY is any religion being funded?
11:37 December 1, 2011 by nolibs
I'm OK with this as long as not a single penny of tax money is coming out of the pocket of non-jews. Tax them away for all I care. Otherwise, let them pay for their own cemeteries, synagogues, religious research centres, and training of rabbis and cantors.
13:05 December 1, 2011 by sebastian2010
I am sick of this.....Like they need the money. How long will this go on for????
13:51 December 1, 2011 by KamiZ
I think Germany should care for its Jewish citizens more than the others because of the Nazi past. But state funding of religions is just ridiculous. And many Germans seem to think the same. And if religious funding is such a big thing then why are 4 million Muslims being ignored and 220,000 Jews being funded? I have nothing against anyone's beliefs but the statistics are just wrong here. Either fund no one or everyone.
14:33 December 1, 2011 by tdog1964
Stop with the German guilt already !
14:48 December 1, 2011 by petenick
I agree, no religion should be funded, after all, this is not Iran. It is good though that jews feel good about Germany after all the years of hatred.
18:08 December 1, 2011 by SchwabHallRocks
Don't Germans pay for their respective Protestant and Catholic Churches and their organizations by the income tax?

That is why they do not contribute very much on Sundays at church, because they are already taxed.

Maybe this Church tax is now optional on the income tax?
18:03 December 6, 2011 by nolibs
@tdog1964 - Why would they stop? They've been milking this since 1944 for all it's worth. Since it is illegal to even discuss, good luck changing this.
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