New European Jewish Magazine Aims to Unite Religious and Secular

A new Jewish magazine launched here is designed to bring together European Jewish voices under one umbrella.

The magazine is named Golem, after the mythical man-like creature created with kabbalistic invocations by the famous 17th-century Rabbi Judah Loew of Prague.

Britta Juergs, a Golem editor, said the publication’s goals are to “strengthen communication between Jews in European countries” as well as to present a variety of voices: secular and religious, younger and older.

The magazine’s first edition this week contains poems, essays, prose and photographs. There are contributions from Hungarian and Polish Jewish magazines, as well as a reprint of an article from 1920 about the nature of Jewish art.

Most articles in the 1,000-circulation magazine are in French, German and English, but editors hope to have more languages in future editions, said Juergs.

Ronnie Golz, a Berlin artist who contributed to the first edition, said language differences are the biggest hurdle in creating a European magazine.

“It’s the same problem we have throughout Europe — we don’t have a common tongue. And I don’t think the magazine should be in Hebrew or in Yiddish.”

Golz’ article deals with the Four Questions. But unlike those asked at the Passover seder, Golz has four queries of his own — about Jewish symbols, the nature of a European Jewish identity, who is Jewish and what is Jewish art.

“I am the vicious child” who asks and answers his own questions, said Golz.

“I am against the belief that Jews who create art have created Jewish art because they are Jewish.

“The only Jewish art I accept is art that has a Jewish context, which can be done by a non-Jewish person.”

Juergs said many volunteers collaborated on the magazine.

“This is just the beginning,” she said. “And what is also important is that the magazine brings Eastern and Western Europe together.”

“Yes, there is a renewal of Jewish life in Berlin,” she said. “That is important for us, but we don’t want to be narrow. And we want to get away from the idea that secular and religious Jews are such enemies. You will find both voices there.”

For information about the magazine, e-mail Juergs at aviva@txt.de

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