NEW YORK (Apr. 22)
The remnant of East Berlin Jewry is observing Passover with kosher wine from the U.S. because of an unprecedented decision by East German officials that was coordinated by the American Jewish Committee.
The shipment of wine for the use of 300 East Berlin Jews occurred after the first meeting between American Jewish leaders and the East Berlin Jewish community in 1982, the AJCommittee reported.
At that time, Benjamin Loewenstein of Philadelphia, chairman of the AJCommittee leadership delegation to Germany, told Dr. Peter Kirchner, president of the East Berlin Jewish Community, that AJC stood ready to help. AJC leaders also met with Klaus Gysi, Minister of Church Affairs of East Germany.
The wine, donated by Meyer Robinson of Monarch Wine Company and transported by Lufthansa Airlines under arrangements made by its freight manager, Peter Hees, is part of an effort by AJC to improve the spirits of East Berlin Jewry.