For the first time since the Nazis took power in 1933, a rabbinical ordination takes place here at the synagogue in Cologne. The revival of the Jewish community in Germany is not only happening in big cities like Frankfurt, Berlin or Munich it's also happening in many small towns around Cologne, along the left and right banks of the Rhine River, a region known as the Rhineland.
The Jewish religious infrastructure, which is emerging in many places in Germany, is now receiving a stable spiritual foundation from the Hildesheimer Rabbinical Seminary in Berlin. Like many other young rabbis in Germany, the four rabbis ordained in Cologne completed studies at the Hildesheimer seminary, founded in 1873 by Rabbi Ezriel Hildesheimer, forced to close in 1938 by the Nazis, and reopened in 2009 by the Central Council of Jews in Germany.
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah, the Jewish bible after the completion of a grueling learning program in the codes of Jewish law or Hallaha. With this ordination ceremony the Hildesheimer Rabbinical Seminary is continuing to contribute to the revival of Jewish life in Germany through the training of young rabbis. Another historic moment - this is the first such ceremony in Roonstrasse Synagogue in over 70 years. Roonstrasse Synagogue is one of the five pre-Nazi synagogues which existed in Cologne, it was destroyed on November 9, 1938 during nation-wide attacks on Jewish-owned property when Germany was under Nazi rule. The Roonstrasse Synagogue was rebuilt during the 1950s.
Present at the Cologne ordination ceremony were Dieter Graumann, President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, and Ronald Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress, as well as German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle. The ordination in Cologne of four new rabbis marks the return of Jewish life to the Rhineland and it's a milestone in Jewish life in Germany and Central Europe.
Wilson Ruiz, Jewish News One, Germany.