Jewish students in Berlin this week established what is being described as the first Jewish student house in the German capital. According to the founders, the center “will serve as a venue for pro-Israel lectures and activities in response to anti-Israel tendencies commonly found on Berlin’s campuses,” as well as providing leisure activities for the city’s more-than 5,000 Jewish students.
“As Berlin has become a magnet for Jewish students from throughout the world in recent years, it’s time to have a regular home for Jewish students in the city,” Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, a local cleric, told attendees at the center’s opening, which was attended by several senior government officials, including Petra Pau, vice president of the Bundestag.The three-story structure on Schlegelstrasse Street is the spiritual heir of the “House of Jewish Learning,” established by philosopher Franz Rosenzweig in Frankfurt prior to the Holocaust, German-Jewish philosophy professor Micha Brumlik said.
“Our job is to build a bridge between the past and the future through this Jewish student house, showing everyone that there is a future for Jews in Germany,” he said.
Chabad on Campus, a student group run by the Chabad hassidic sect, and KSpace, a student-run organization, will co-manage the center.