I thought you might find this interesting – when asking or being asked, Why Germany?
My beloved Cantor’s Assembly mission being held this coming June to Germany poses serious questions. In response to these questions, our current President, Cantor Jack Chomsky has responded. “How can I ever go to Germany?” “This was a reasonable feeling to have about the “Poland experience” — and a feeling that was worth overcoming. The same thing is both less and more true in relation to the upcoming trip to Germany
It is MORE of an issue because Germany was the perpetrator of the Holocaust above all other nations. It is LESS of an issue because Germany has paid its debts on many levels — both literally, through the debts that have been paid to Israel and to Holocaust survivors, and metaphorically, in the sense that Germany and its citizens have come to terms with this horrific legacy year after year after year.
One thing that I learned powerfully from the Poland experience is to think about our connection to our OWN cultural and religious heritage — that there was a tremendously rich Jewish experience in these places — and that the Holocaust occurred THERE because that’s where the Jews were. And the Jews were there because that’s where their rich life was — and we rob OURSELVES by ignoring the legacy of pre-Holocaust Germany.
The other remarkable thing about Germany as contrasted with Poland is that there is now a burgeoning Jewish community. Who among us would have predicted a generation ago that Berlin would be the most popular world gathering place for Jews from Israel, the U.S. and around the world! Among the growing elements in the German Jewish community is the Masorti community — and this trip also creates a tremendous opportunity for us to connect with them, and to help be part of their growth.”
Come out to a meeting on December 5, 2011 at 7:30 pm at HOLY BLOSSOM TEMPLE.
My wife, Hope, and I will hold our second information meeting in preparation for our trip to Germany, “A MUSICAL JOURNEY OF HERITAGE AND HEALING”. At this meeting questions regarding the trip will be answered, updates and changes to original itinerary will be discussed and you will have a chance to meet the many people who have already committed and registered for the trip. We will use audio visual material as well as a copy of an incredible lecture by Prof. Steven Berk – Germany Yesterday and Today.
Looking forward to hearing from you and seeing you soon,
Cantor Beny and Hope Maissner