With all of the painful history involved, the relationship between the German government and the country’s 12,000 Jews is never simple.
Right now, the German Jewish community is up in arms over the government’s apparent discrimination against Orthodox Jews. Germany currently subsidizes the training of Liberal rabbis — the European incarnation of Reform Judaism — and funds university-level Jewish studies, but it is now refusing to offer the same support to a seminary that trains Orthodox rabbis.
Interior Minister Thomas de Maziere has blamed budget constraints for refusing to fund the seminary, which opened its doors in 2005, graduated its first rabbis in 2009 and is the first to train Orthodox rabbis in Germany since 1938.
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