Jewish Community of Berlin Elects Head of United City

Jerzy Kanal has been elected chairman of Berlin’s Jewish community in the first contest for the post held since the once separate East and West Berlin communities were reunited.

The community of about 9,000 voted Sunday between Kanal’s Liberal Jewish Bloc and an opposition list headed by Moishe Waks, 41, former director of the community youth center.

Kanal, 71, a businessman who formerly served as vice chairman of the Berlin Jewish community, had taken over as chairman following the death last July of Heinz Galinski.

Galinski had led the West Berlin Jewish community since 1949 and headed the entire country’s Jewish community since 1988.

The current head of the country’s Jewish community is Ignatz Bubis.

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