May 11, 2010 / 27 Iyar 5770
Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky visited Jewish communities in several cities in Germany this week (Sunday-Monday, May 9-10), in an effort to increase the Agency’s involvement with the communities, particularly with Russian-speaking youth who migrated with their families from the former Soviet Union in recent decades.
Sharansky met with Jewish community leaders in Berlin, Frankfurt, Potsdam, and Wurzburg, marking the first visit of a Jewish Agency chairman to Germany. In Wurzburg, Sharansky met with a group of young adults (pictured) who were on a Birthright Israel trip and are now part of a Jewish Agency identity-building program and are planning to make aliyah to Israel.
“The Jewish Agency must act urgently so that Jews of Germany, particularly the young, do not completely lose touch with the Jewish People and Israel,” Sharansky said.
One of Sharansky’s initiatives is to bring 1,000 Russian-speaking teens from around the world, including Germany, for a camp experience in Israel this summer.
Today, the Jewish community in Germany has grown to some 100,000 Jews and another 100,000 who have at least one Jewish grandparent, from 15,000 after World War II.
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