Central Council of Jews in Germany
|Central Council of Jews in Germany
|legal form||Public corporation|
|founding||July 19, 1950|
|purpose||Umbrella organization of the Jewish communities and regional associations in Germany and their political representation|
|Members||105 Jewish communities, around 100,000 members|
As a public corporation, the Central Council of Jews in Germany (ZdJ) is the largest umbrella organization of the Jewish communities and regional associations in Germany and their political representation. It was founded on July 19, 1950 in Frankfurt am Main and has been based in Berlin since 1999 . It has 23 regional associations with 105 municipalities and around 100,500 members. The Würzburg doctor Josef Schuster has been president since November 2014 .
The Central Council was founded on July 19, 1950 in Frankfurt a. M. founded by delegates of the already existing Jewish communities in the Federal Republic of Germany and their regional associations. Its first board of directors included: the Bavarian State Commissioner for Racially, Religiously and Politically Persecuted Persons, Philipp Auerbach ; Heinz Galinski , who was liberated in Bergen-Belsen and later chairman of the Berlin Jewish community for many years ; the lawyer Benno Ostertag , who specializes in reparation issues ; the two members of the Central Committee in the US zone Peisach Piekatsch and Chaskiel Eife; Josef Rosensaft and Norbert Wollheim for the British zone. The first seat of the Central Council of Jews in Germany was Frankfurt am Main , from 1951 Düsseldorf , from 1985 Bonn and from April 1, 1999 Berlin, where the main administration is housed in the Leo-Baeck-Haus .
The organization itself points out that just two months after the liberation of Germany by the Allies and the capitulation of Nazi Germany, the Central Committee of Liberated Jews in the American Zone was formed. It is regarded as one of the germ cells of the Central Council, which was founded five years later. There were similar alliances in the other occupation zones. In 1945 a total of 51 communities were re-established; a year later there were already 67 Jewish communities in Germany.
In the first few years, the organization considered its main task to be to influence legislation to redress National Socialist injustice. Later, the fight against anti-Semitism , the support of rapprochement between Germany and the State of Israel and the promotion of the work of the member communities and regional associations became more important tasks, as did the commitment to mutual understanding between Jews and non-Jews.
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall and German reunification in 1990, the immigration of tens of thousands of Jews (mostly as “ quota refugees ”) from the countries of the former Soviet Union ( CIS states ) has been a new focus. They were distributed to the federal states according to the Königstein key , which mainly takes into account the number of inhabitants. The number of Jewish community members in Germany has more than tripled since 1990.
Those born in Germany still shape the Central Council - and a few Jews from Eastern Europe who now make up the majority of the community members in many places. The Central Council publishes the weekly newspaper Jüdische Allgemeine . The Union of Progressive Jews , to which around 3,000 members belong, is the second largest association of Jewish communities in Germany after the Central Council. After earlier tensions between the two organizations, the relationship has now normalized. In some cases there are now memberships of regional associations of the Union of Progressive Jews in the Central Council of Jews in Germany.
The Federal Government contributes to the preservation and maintenance of the German-Jewish cultural heritage, to the development of a Jewish community and to the integration-political and social tasks of the Central Council in Germany and supports the Central Council financially in fulfilling its supraregional tasks as well as the costs of its administration. This was first negotiated in a state treaty in 2003 . In a contract dated July 6, 2018, the Federal Republic of Germany undertook to increase the annual state benefits from 10 to 13 million euros.
The Central Council is a cooperation partner of the anti-Semitism research and information center founded in 2015 .
The Central Council has three organs:
- the executive committee as executive,
- the board of directors, representing the regional associations and large municipalities,
- the council as a representation of the communities.
The council assembly includes all regional associations as well as the large communities in Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt and Cologne, with one delegate sent for every 1,000 community members. As the highest decision-making body of the Central Council, it has the authority to issue guidelines, budget law and controls the work of the Presidium. It decides on fundamental questions of the Jewish community, taking into account the autonomy of the individual member communities, with the highest priority. It meets at least once a year and elects three members from among its members to the nine-member Presidium of the Central Council for a period of four years.
The board of directors is made up of representatives sent by the individual member or regional associations, with one delegate sent for every 5000 parishioners or part thereof. The Board of Directors elects six members of the nine-person Presidium from among its members for four years. The Board of Directors monitors the activities of the Presidium and elects the Secretary General.
The Presidium elects the President and the two Vice-Presidents from among its ranks, who represent the Central Council of Jews in public. The Presidium manages the business of the Central Council, the current business is carried out by the Secretary General, who is elected for five years.
The Central Council is a full member of several international Jewish organizations, including:
- World Jewish Congress
- European Jewish Congress
- World Jewish Restitution Organization
- Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany
Chairpersons / Presidents
- 1954–1963: Heinz Galinski , chairman
- 1963–1969: Herbert Lewin , Chairman
- 1969–1988: Werner Nachmann , Chairman
- 1988–1992: Heinz Galinski, Chairman and President
- 1992–1999: Ignatz Bubis , President
- 2000–2006: Paul Spiegel , President
- 2006–2010: Charlotte Knobloch , President
- 2010–2014: Dieter Graumann , President
- since November 2014 Josef Schuster
General secretaries / managing directors
- 1950–1973: Hendrik van Dam , General Secretary
- 1973–1988: Alexander Ginsburg , General Secretary
- 1988–1992: Micha Guttmann , General Secretary
- 2004–2014: Stephan Kramer , Secretary General
- since May 2014: Daniel Botmann , Managing Director
The Central Council currently has 23 regional associations with a total of 108 Jewish communities with a good 100,000 members.
- Israelite Religious Community Baden
- Regional association of the Israelite cultural communities in Bavaria
- Jewish community in Berlin
- State Association of the Jewish Communities Brandenburg
- Jewish community in the state of Bremen
- Jewish community Frankfurt am Main
- Jewish community Hamburg
- Regional Association of Jewish Communities in Hesse
- Synagogue community Cologne
- Regional association of the Jewish communities in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
- Israelite community in Munich and Upper Bavaria
- Regional association of the Jewish communities of Lower Saxony
- State association of the Israelite religious communities of Lower Saxony
- Regional association of the Jewish communities of North Rhine
- Regional association of the Jewish communities of Rhineland-Palatinate
- Synagogue community Saar
- Saxony State Association of Jewish Communities
- State association of Jewish communities in Saxony-Anhalt
- Jewish Community Schleswig-Holstein
- State Association of the Jewish Communities of Schleswig-Holstein
- Jewish State Community of Thuringia
- Regional association of the Jewish communities of Westphalia-Lippe
- Israelite Religious Community Württemberg
After Werner Nachmann's death , the charge was made that between 1981 and 1987, Nachmann embezzled around 33 million DM in interest income from reparation money from the federal government. The actual whereabouts of the money is largely unclear to this day, although Nachmann's successor in office, Heinz Galinski , tried hard to clear up the matter for years.
In 2000 the Bremen community chairwoman Elvira Noa as well as the vice-president of the Central Council and Munich community president Charlotte Knobloch each gave an interview to the weekly newspaper Junge Freiheit , which was published in its editions of October 13th and 20th, 2000. The ensuing debate within the ZdJ resulted in the decision of the board of directors not to be an interlocutor for “right-wing media” in future.
In April 2004 there was a dispute between Central Council President Paul Spiegel and the chairman of the Union of Progressive Jews in Germany , Jan Mühlstein . Mühlstein calls for equal financial rights for the liberal Jewish communities in the distribution of the three million euros of state funding paid annually on the basis of a state treaty . The heirs of Leo Baeck want to withdraw the right to use the name Leo Baeck from the Central Council due to the dispute . In a conversation mediated by the World Union of Progressive Jews on the sidelines of its annual meeting on Pesach 2006 in Hanover , the Central Council and the Union largely settled their differences.
During the Lebanon War in 2006 , Rolf Verleger, a member of the Board of Directors, accused the Presidium of the Central Council in an open letter of unreservedly taking the side of the Israeli government. Because of this letter, on August 9, 2006, his home community in Lübeck deposed him as chairman of the Schleswig-Holstein Jewish Community . Verleger admitted that the position of the presidium expressed the majority opinion of Jews in Germany.
In the heated debate about the religiously motivated circumcision of boys, triggered by a ruling by the Cologne Regional Court on May 7, 2012 , the Central Council protested against interference by the ultra-Orthodox Israeli interior minister Eli Jischai . Since October 2013 he has been running certification seminars for Mohalim on legal and medical aspects of circumcision. This is to ensure that the Brit Mila is carried out by a certified mohel in accordance with the legal provisions applicable in Germany. Lecturers were u. a. the Würzburg constitutional lawyer Kyrill-Alexander Schwarz and the medical director of the Jewish Hospital Berlin , Hans Kristof Graf. Central Council Vice-President Josef Schuster said that no support from the Central Council was to be expected for circumcisions that did not meet the legal requirements.
Nationwide organization of communities and associations (historical)
- Reich Representation of German Jews (1933–1935, after the Nuremberg Race Laws were enacted in 1935 this association had to rename itself to Reich Representation of Jews in Germany ) (1935–1938)
- From 1938–1939 it became the Reich Association of Jews in Germany . From February to July 1939 this organization was called the Reich Association of Jews in Germany
- Reich Association of Jews in Germany (a Nazi organization under the leadership of the Reich Security Main Office / the Gestapo; nationalization July 1939–1943; on June 16, 1943 the RSHA orders the closure of all existing offices)
- German-Israelite Community Association
- Central Association of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith
- Reich Association of Jewish Front Soldiers with Association of Jewish Soldiers (since 2006)
- Central archive for researching the history of Jews in Germany
- Central welfare office for Jews in Germany
- Jewish life in Berlin
- Jewish Student Union Germany (JSUD)
- Jay Howard Geller: Jews in Post-Holocaust Germany . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge among others 2005, ISBN 0-521-54126-3 .
- Esriel Hildesheimer: Jewish self-government under the Nazi regime. Mohr Siebeck, 1994. ISBN 978-3161461798 (on the organizations from 1933 to 1939).
- Stephan J. Kramer : Risk in the future. 60 years of the Central Council of Jews in Germany . Hentrich & Hentrich Verlag, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-942271-10-3 .
- Stephan J. Kramer: Daring the future. 60 years of the Central Council of Jews in Germany . Hentrich & Hentrich Verlag, Berlin 2013, ISBN 978-3-95565-003-2 .
- Members: regional associations and Jewish communities. (No longer available online.) Central Council of Jews in Germany, archived from the original on March 8, 2010 ; accessed on March 1, 2018 .
- our regional associations on site. In: www.zentralratderjuden.de.
- municipalities. In: www.zentralratderjuden.de.
- After the history page on the Central Council homepage
- Treaty between the Federal Republic of Germany, represented by the Federal Chancellor, and the Central Council of Jews in Germany - corporation under public law - represented by the President and the Vice-Presidents of January 27, 2003 ( Federal Law Gazette I p. 1598 )
- State treaty with the Central Council of Jews referred to the committees of the German Bundestag , accessed on June 10, 2020.
- BGBl. I p. 2236
- cte / AFP: Central Council of Jews gets more money. In: Spiegel Online. July 6, 2018, accessed July 6, 2018 .
- organs. In: Zentralratderjuden.de. Retrieved March 1, 2018 .
- Presidium. Members of the Presidium. In: Zentralratderjuden.de. Retrieved March 1, 2018 .
- Directory. In: Zentralratderjuden.de. Retrieved March 1, 2018 .
- Council meeting. In: Zentralratderjuden.de. Retrieved March 1, 2018 .
- Paul Spiegel Prize for moral courage
- Moritz Schwarz: For an undisturbed relationship. Charlotte Knobloch on the uptightness between Jews and non-Jews and the necessary path towards normalization. In: jf-archiv.de. October 13, 2000, archived from the original on February 6, 2010 ; accessed on March 1, 2018 .
- Moritz Schwarz: Sometimes I feel sorry for young Germans. Elvira Noa on the persistence of National Socialist dogmas in the Federal German "Atonement" and the need for a new national consciousness. In: jf-archiv.de. October 20, 2000, archived from the original on May 26, 2010 ; accessed on March 1, 2018 .
- Marlies Emmerich: No more interviews for right-wing newspapers. Decision of the Directory of the Central Council of Jews. In: berliner-zeitung.de. October 30, 2000, archived from the original on April 7, 2014 ; accessed on March 1, 2018 .
- Central Council critic must go. In: taz . August 24, 2006, accessed March 1, 2018 .
- Ethics Council speaks out in favor of circumcision. In: spiegel.de. August 23, 2012, accessed March 1, 2018 .
- Heide Sobotka: For the well-being of the child - Josef Schuster on the further training of Mohalim. In: www.juedische-allgemeine.de. October 17, 2013, archived from the original on October 17, 2013 ; accessed on March 1, 2018 .
- Qualification of Mohalim - Successful compact seminar in Berlin. In: www.zentralratdjuden.de. October 9, 2013, archived from the original on October 21, 2013 ; accessed on March 1, 2018 .