(EJP/JNS) Forty rabbis from all over Europe walked the streets of the German city of Ulm this week, a couple of days after Germany’s anti-Semitism commissioner, Felix Klein, advised Jews against wearing kippot in public areas because of rising anti-Semitism in the country.
The defiant rabbis, all of whom are affiliated with the Rabbinical Centre of Europe (RCE), were accompanied by the mayor of Ulm in a show of solidarity.
Speaking at a rabbinical meeting in the ancient German city, RCE Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin said, “The Rabbinical Centre of Europe exists to ensure the survival, support and development of European Jewry. We met today to discuss issues affecting Jews and to debate and discuss issues relevant to Jewish law, custom and practice. Above all we met to underline that Jews are not removed from European society but are an intrinsic part of Europe’s cultural and theological fabric.
“In spite of the remarks of the German commissioner on anti-Semitism, which we all agreed are dangerous and amount to a surrender to hate, we wanted to show that we will not be intimidated or marginalized. We were touched that the mayor of Ulm, a city that has a long Jewish history, showed his solidarity with us and walked with us around his city.”
“This,” he said, “is this kind of message that other political figures and representatives should be advocating, instead of a message of defeat to extremism by asking Jews to hide their identity.”