Published in the Jewish Voice from Germany, 01/2012
I would like to congratulate Jewish Voice from Germany on the publication of its first issue. Reporting from Germany in the English language for Jewish communities in the USA, Canada, Israel and the UK, this publication shows the world the new blossoming of Jewish life in Germany and thereby builds an important bridge between Jewish communities on opposite shores of the Atlantic.
Jewish life has once again become an integral part of our society. Seven decades after the Shoah, many different branches of Judaism are again ordaining rabbis in Germany, synagogues are being built and Jewish schools and pre‑schools opened. Germany’s Jewish communities are highly diverse, and are among the most dynamic in the world today.
This “renaissance” of Jewish life in Germany, as Paul Spiegel once described it, gives us cause for joy and gratitude, as well as a mandate to promote and strengthen Jewish life in all its many facets in the German communities. By doing so, we can send the world a clear message that our Jewish community is an inextricable part not only of our history, but also – and above all – of our future.
At the same time, Germany’s historical responsibility towards the Israeli people remains a cornerstone of our foreign policy. Out of that responsibility for the past, we derive an obligation for the future. For that reason it is all the more important for Germany and Israel to further enhance the tight network of understanding and friendship which has grown up between our peoples over the decades. Israeli‑German relations rest on the solid foundation of countless civil society initiatives, thousands of German volunteers engaged in Israel and Israeli volunteers engaged in Germany, and collaborative higher education and research projects, as well as the many warm and close friendships between Germans and Israelis.
We need people who are engaged with and knowledgeable about Jewish history in Germany, and who have a vision for the future, and we need media to convey and elucidate this vision. I am delighted that Jewish Voice from Germany has taken on this journalistic challenge, thereby adding an important new facet to Germany’s image on both sides of the Atlantic.
I hope that Jewish Voice from Germany will be rich in insight into Jewish life in Germany and engaging perspectives on Jewish life around the world, and above all I wish it a large readership.
Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany