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Muslim Pol And Jewish Leader Want To Rebuild Synagogue In Berlin

A Palestinian-German politician and the chairman of Berlin’s Jewish community are hatching a plan to rebuild a grand synagogue destroyed by Nazis and their supporters in 1938, the Washington Post reported.

The Fraenkelufer synagogue was largely destroyed during Kristallnacht, in 1938. Raed Saleh and Gideon Jaffe hope to raise enough money for a new synagogue — one that can be a community center for the whole neighborhood of Kreuzberg, which is now home to many immigrants from the Middle East.

“I wouldn’t be a good Muslim if I didn’t champion Jewish life in my home city, Berlin,” Saleh said. “And a Christian wouldn’t be a good Christian, either, if he didn’t intervene when a woman’s hijab is being torn from her head.”

Joffe said that the new synagogue is also meant to combat a sense of rising anti-Semitism in Berlin and Germany in general.

“Our members are afraid to show their Jewishness,” Joffe said. “They don’t wear the kippah,” or yarmulke. “They don’t wear the Star of David. They hide it. That’s why we think it’s really important to revive a building like this one.”

Contact Ari Feldman at [email protected] or on Twitter @aefeldman


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