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On the inauguration of our Synagoge

With Pride and Gratitude

by Rabbiner Akiva Weingarten

זֶה הַיּוֹם עָשָׂה יְהוָה נָגִילָה וְנִשְׂמְחָה בוֹ.
This is the day which Adonai has made; we will be full of joy and delight in it.

We mark now our 2 years anniversary of the founding of our holy community. September 2021 is when Dresden got a third Jewish community. When we opened the community, we were not sure how successful or how much need there is for another community, all we knew is that we felt the need to have our own community, our own place where we could pray, celebrate and practice our Judaism in the way we feel right.

Now, 2 years later, with over 200 members and a very active community, we know that we did the right thing, not only for us but for all the people in Dresden that would like to visit a community like ours.

Today marks a special day in our community, we inaugurate our new synagogue. we have a place of our own where young people can come and celebrate the Jewish culture and traditions. Although we just finished our renovations, this is not the end of our work, we are just getting started, we hope to continue to build up all the infrastructure that is needed for active and vibrant Jewish life here.

We thank all that have supported us until now and look forward to what the future brings.

Adress of the Board

by the Board

The Jewish Community Dresden is a young young Jewish community founded in 2021 by students of the Besht Yeshiva. It is denominational, egalitarian, liberal and Hasidic. Their rabbi is Akiva Weingarten. The board consists of chairman Moshe Barnett, Rosa Schmitthenner and David Lamberger. In the past two years we have already accomplished a lot: regular Shabbat celebrations every two weeks, as well as the Jewish festivals. Since the summer of 2022 we have also been building our own synagogue: it is located on the site of the former old Leipzig train station in Dresden Neustadt and will be officially opened on September 3, 2023.

It is not always easy for us that our synagogue will be located in this very place, from which deportations to concentration camps started during the Third Reich, but it is a sign that we are here to stay. Our goal is to create a place in Dresden where Jewish life can grow and flourish, where the most diverse members feel comfortable and where we create a physical as well as spiritual space in which we celebrate our faith and our traditions can.

We are in exchange with rabbis and actors from all over the world and design a variety of projects on Jewish life in Germany and enable Jews and non-Jews to meet.

Sometimes it doesn't take much to change the world for the better.

For the future, we wish and invite our community members to help shape community life and play a part in building and consolidating sustainable Jewish life in East Germany. Along the way we have encountered many obstacles that we never dared hope for, but we have also met incredibly special people.

Therefore we would like to quote Rabbi Jonathan Sacks here:

“Not all of us have power, but we all have influence. That's why we can all be leaders. The most important forms of leadership are not based on position, title, dress, or office, prestige or power, but on a willingness to work with others to achieve what we cannot achieve alone. So let's always choose influence over power. Because that helps us empower people to change the world.”

Congratulations to us!

by Kai Lautenschläger on behalf of the Advisory Board

Where should I start? With whom or with what? That we now have a synagogue - even if there is still a lot to be done on and in it - borders on a miracle. And for so many different reasons. It begins with the filthy Mammon and does not end with the struggle with the various authorities who do their work conscientiously. For me it began when I came to a meeting in Rabbi Akiva Weingarten's office on Bautzner Strasse one day and found the architectural poster of an architect's design for a synagogue in Dresden hanging on the wall above the desk. This was so outrageous to me that I didn't even dare to ask if I had understood the implications correctly. At some point, of course, I couldn't avoid it anymore and after hearing an enthusiastic description of the rabbis, I wasn't sure anymore whether he might have lost his sanity. Today, my reaction at the time seems faint-hearted and stuffy.

I learned a lot on the common path of building our synagogue. A new practical meaning of compromises was demanded of me and I could learn a liberating determination. We could have prayed anywhere, but the Besht students, parishioners, friends, craftsmen and henchmen - all felt the special meaning that this new Beit Midrash would have. As far as we know, the first synagogue in Germany to be built by the community itself. Not only do we have a house in Dresden, we even built one ourselves. I congratulate the parish council and the rabbi, without whom this mammoth achievement would never have been possible. And I congratulate us, the parishioners, who with the synagogue we have laid another stone of colorful Judaism in Dresden. I wish the synagogue many more years of beautification, great prayers, encounters, discussions, kiddushim and community meetings. I look to the Eternal for blessings on all that we shall do in this new House of Worship.

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