SAN DIEGO—Along with most of our readers, the staff and contributors to San Diego Jewish World will pause for Rosh Hashanah on Wednesday evening (U.S. Pacific Coast time), September 8, and will resume their work after sundown Thursday, Sept. 9. (Some of us will observe a second day of the Holy Day as well.)
Co-publishers Donald and Nancy Harrison extend to all their readers, to fellow writers and contributors, and to the Jewish community at large a fervent wish that this new year will bring peace in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world, and that, on a more personal level, the New Year will be for all of us—Jew and Gentile alike–healthy, happy and prosperous.
MAINZ (WJC)–German President Christian Wulff has inaugurated a new synagogue in the city of Mainz, on the very site where Nazis destroyed the previous one more than 70 years ago.
“Exactly 98 years after the opening of the last major synagogue in Mainz, the Jewish community once again will have an architectural and religious center,” Wulff said at the official ceremony. Wulff spoke of “a small miracle.” The ”revival of Jewish life in Germany is continuing” thanks to the new synagogue, he said, calling it a “blessing for our country, a blessing for Germany.”
Cologne architect Manuel Herz designed the US$ 13 million modern structure, which seats some people, and inscribed five Hebrew letters forming the word ‘Kedushah’ (holiness). The previous synagogue was burnt during the ’Kristallnacht’ pogrom in November 1938. Mainz was considered a center for Jewish culture for centuries, and some 2,600 Jews lived there in 1933, when Adolf Hitler rose to power. More than half of them perished in death camps.
Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress
LEIPZIG, Germany (WJC)–Two Orthodox rabbinical students have been ordained by the Rabbinical Seminary Berlin in the eastern German city of Leipzig. Both men were trained at the seminary, located in the German capital and supported by the foundation of World Jewish Congress.
The seminary is the successor to the institution founded by Rabbi Azriel Hildesheimer in 1873 in Berlin and shut down by the Nazis in 1938. “Judaism is alive and well in Germany,” WJC President Ronald Lauder said during the ceremony. The head of the German Jewish community and vice-president of the WJC, Charlotte Knobloch, praised the contribution of eastern European Jewish immigrants to Jewish life in Germany, which was now there to stay.
Shlomo Afanasev was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where he studied financial management and accounting. He will be working for the Jewish communities in the state of Brandenburg. Moshe Baumel’s family immigrated to Germany from Lithuania in 1991. He will be rabbi and director of Jewish studies at the Zwi-Peres-Chajes School of the Jewish Community of Vienna, Austria. In addition to pursuing ordination, Baumel has studied art history and antiquities.
Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress
LA JOLLA (Press Release)–Members of the San Diego Israel Coalition will gather at Congregation Beth El Tuesday for a 10 a.m demonstration that the Jewish community supports peace in the Middle East.
The theme will be sounded with a mass shofar-blowing in the courtyard of the Conservative congregation at 8660 Gilman Drive.
“The shofar is the most common symbol of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year and beginning of the High Holiday season, which begins at sunset Wednesday September 8,” said Audrey Jacobs, a co-chair of the San Diego Israel Coalition.
“Jews blow the shofar on Rosh Hashanah as a spiritual and intellectual ‘wake up’ call to examine our actions, and commit to personal improvement in the new year. The SDIC ‘Shofar for Israel’ gathering is a symbolic call to all people of goodwill here, in the Middle East and around the world to renew our commitment and efforts to pursue peace in the Middle East in the coming year. ”
Preceding based on material provided by the San Diego Israel Coalition
HAIFA (Press Release)–A unique and first of its kind project has set sail from the coast of Haifa. The Nautilus – a research ship owned by oceanographer Robert Ballard, who discovered the wreck of the RMS Titanic – has set out on a voyage to research the sea floor off the coast of Israel, in those areas in which Israel has rights (which reach beyond the territorial waters).
Heading this expedition are marine researchers from the Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences at the University of Haifa.
Nautilus is a research ship fully equipped with state-of-the-art technologies for sea-floor research, and includes diving robots, elaborate control rooms and more. Taking Ballard’s place as captain of the ship on this voyage is Israel Prize winner and Director of the Leon H. Charney School of Marine Sciences, Prof. Zvi Ben-Avraham. He will be heading the ship over the coming two weeks, during which time the team will study the Mediterranean floor. Prof. Ben-Avraham, along with the School’s scientists, mapped out each and every step of this expedition.
“This unique collaboration gives expression to the central emphasis that the University of Haifa has decided to place on marine research, a resource that promises many discoveries in a variety of areas: economy, medicine, energy, biology, and more. The future is in the sea and this voyage is a first step towards understanding the mystery of a region that is so close to us yet still so far and unknown,” said Prof. Aaron Ben-Ze’ev, President of the University of Haifa.
Preceding provided by the University of Haifa