German minister supports Chabad after attack

German Jewish and non-Jewish leaders joined for a service at Berlin’s Chabad synagogue and education center to demonstrate support for the movement following an attack on one of its schools.Leaders of the Jewish community were joined Thursday by German officials including Interior Minister Wolfgang Schauble and Berlin Interior Minister Ehrhart Karting, who visited the site soon after the Feb. 25 incident. Also present was Kenan Kolat, head of the Turkish Association in Berlin and Brandenburg.

Anti-Semitic and Nazi graffiti were scrawled on the kindergarten’s walls and on children’s toys left outside. A smoke bomb was thrown into the building but did not detonate. No one was inside at the time. Police have asked witnesses to come forward, but no progress has been
reported in the investigation.

“Any such attack is one too many,” Schauble told reporters after the service, which was led by Chabad Rabbis Yehudah Teichtal and Shmuel Segal. “It is not only a matter for the police. This was an attack against human values. We have to defend our Jewish community. We want
to have a very secure, normal Jewish life in Germany.”

Gideon Joffe, head of the Berlin Jewish community, called on non-Jews in Germany to don a kipah or wear a star of David in public to get an idea of how it feels to be openly Jewish there today.

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