Germany

Of Rabbits And Mourning

Two short documentaries about German history complement each other surprisingly well.

12/08/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Sometimes all it takes to make a short film work is a strong central metaphor. Consider the fascinating pairing of short documentaries about German history, “Rabbit a la Berlin” and “Loss,” opening at Film Forum on Dec. 8. Each is structured around a single overriding conceit and both rise or fall on the strength of that spine. Happily, both films are pretty effective and as a pair they complement one another surprisingly well despite a wild disparity in tone.

Rabbit a la Berlin

Deal Reached For Needy Survivors

After negotiations with Claims Conference, Germany doubles home care funds for the low-income elderly, ensuring ‘minimum standard’ of ‘dignity.’

12/07/2010
Staff Writer

At the age of 89, Holocaust survivor Joseph Friedman is finding it difficult to live alone in Flatbush.

Gregory Schneider

German Jews Elect First Leader Born After Holocaust

11/28/2010

BERLIN (JTA) -- For the first time, Jews in Germany have elected a representative, Dieter Graumann, born after the Holocaust.

The board of the Central Council of Jews in Germany unanimously elected Graumann, 60, to head the 60-year-old organization, at its meeting Sunday in Frankfurt.

Graumann, born to Holocaust survivors in Israel, succeeds Munich native Charlotte Knobloch, 78, who decided not to run again after four years in office.

Making History In Germany

11/23/2010

The Abraham Geiger College, Germany’s Reform rabbinical school, ordained three rabbis recently. All three, like most of the 100,000-plus Jews who have come to Germany in the last 30 years, are from the former Soviet Union, but one garnered most of the attention.

Ukraine-born Alina Treiger is the first female rabbi ordained in Germany since before the Holocaust.

The last one, Regina Jonas, died in Auschwitz in 1944. She was the first woman known to be ordained as a rabbi in modern times.

Photo by Getty Images

The Waltz Of Germany

In ‘Tides,’ an avant-garde troupe fuses dance, theater and a country’s tragic history.

10/27/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

It seems fitting that a German ensemble would stage a work keenly evoking terror, displacement and survival amid catastrophe. Next week the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival will host “Gezeiten” (the aptly titled “Tides” in German), a dance theater performance choreographed by the likewise appropriately named Sasha Waltz.

'Bridging cultures' with dance pieces.

Populists’ Anti-Islam Message Has European Jewish Leaders Worried

10/25/2010
JTA

BERLIN (JTA) -- Geert Wilders, the rock star of European politics, is riding the crest of a populist tsunami.

As the pro-Israel founder of Holland’s Party of Freedom lets loose recently in Berlin, shouting that Islam is a threat to Germany’s identity, democracy and prosperity, his audience of 500 reacts with an evangelical zeal, offering big-time applause and standing ovations.

“Stand by the side of those who are threatened by Islam, like the State of Israel and its Jewish citizens,” he exhorts the crowd.

Being Ruth Gruber

The pioneering, nonagenarian Jewish journalist is a perfect documentary subject; fortunately, the film landed the perfect director as well.

09/08/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Ruth Gruber, the subject of a wonderfully economical and crisp documentary, "Ahead of Time," is a magnificent one-of-a-kind figure in 20th-century Jewish history. Gruber is the product of, she recounts with a grin, "a shtetl called Brooklyn. … Everybody there was Jewish." She was a prodigy who entered New York University at 15 and earned a doctorate from the University of Cologne at 20. But the attractions of the academy couldn't compete with the turmoil of worldwide economic depression, the New Deal at home and the rise of Fascism in Europe.

Ruth Gruber

An Uneasy Visit to Germany

08/25/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

I stepped out of the airport onto the cobblestone road and gazed out onto the traffic crowding around me. People with their luggage running to get a taxi, tourists asking for directions, businessmen on the phone and lots of noise. I closed my eyes and opened them again. Why was I, the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, standing in front of Tegel Airport in Berlin, Germany?

Daniella Bondar
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