Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries representing 15 communities in Germany met with North Rhine-Westphalia Parliamentary President Eckhard Uhlenberg on Tuesday. The meeting followed a two-day conference in Düsseldorf, at which Germany’s Chabad emissaries explored new Jewish educational initiatives in the country.
Düsseldorf, the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia region, ranks seventh in population numbers, but third in Jewish population, with roughly 31,000 Jews.
According to Rabbi Chaim Barkahn, director of Chabad of Dusseldorf, the conference offered the region’s Jewish people a better perspective on the scope of Chabad’s activities.
“The gathering of community leaders from across the country shows the blossoming of Jewish life here in Germany,” says Barkahn.
Düsseldorf’s Rohr Chabad-Lubavitch Center has itself grown considerably since its opening in 2001. Built with a grant from the Rohr Family Foundation, the Center has outgrown its space, and is now searching for an additional site to expand their activities.
In his remarks, President Uhlenberg noted the work of Chabad in his region.
“I’m familiar with Chabad’s activities in Germany,” he said. “We are committed to help the expansion of Jewish life in our state and I am sure that we will work together.”
Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky of Chabad-Lubavitch World Headquarters joined the rabbis at the conference.
“Jewish life has truly been reborn here out of the ashes of the Holocaust,” he said, addressing President Uhlenberg and others gathered in the regional capita.
Rabbi Kotlarsky pointed to the steady growth of Chabad centers, as increasing numbers of Jews seek to connect to their roots.
“There is no better way to defy the attempted annihilation of our people, than to nurture its regrowth here. We must now look forward and work together to ensure Jewish continuity for future generations.”