First Semicha in 70 Years Given in Germany


germany-semicha1 The first semicha given in Germany in seven decades was bestowed upon Reb Avraham Radbil and Reb Zsolt Balla, who were handed their semicha certificates today in Munich at a ceremony attended by senior political figures. Most rabbonim employed in Germany since the Holocaust have been trained abroad. The government has funded training in an effort to heal the wounds of the Holocaust. Rabbi Radbil and Rabbi Balla come from Ukraine and Hungary and were trained at in Berlin which began courses in 2005. They have positions awaiting them in the cities of Leipzig and Cologne.Jewish leaders from abroad, Central Council of German Jews president Charlotte Knobloch and German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble attended the ceremony.

Schaeuble said it was a source of gratitude that Jews were migrating back to Germany and that Jewish life was reviving. “The battle against every form of anti-Semitism is a duty of government,” he added.

Some 600,000 Jews lived in Germany before the World War II, but the figure declined to around 12,000 after 1945 and today stands at around 110,000. German Jews trained their own rabbonim before the Holocaust.

The Nazis closed the last Jewish seminary, the Higher Institute for Jewish Studies in Berlin, in 1942.

 {Monsters and Critics/Noam Newscenter}