New intrigue in Berlin Jewish politics

A German Jewish leader has stirred political upheaval by announcing his candidacy for the leadership of Berlin’s Jewish community.

Stephan Kramer, the longtime general secretary of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, announced his candidacy for the board of the Jewish community of Berlin.

The Central Council has distanced itself from the move, a potential first step to a candidacy for president of the Berlin community. The community is in the throes of political change as control passes to the relatively new German Jewish majority of Russian-speaking Jews.

Council President Charlotte Knobloch and the two vice presidents, Dieter Graumann and Salomon Korn, issued a statement saying Kramer’s decision – announced Sunday at a meeting of the Berlin Jewish community board – had not been coordinated with them. They emphasized that the Central Council would remain neutral. The council represents the 120,000 registered German Jews.

Kramer, 39, is a political appointee who has worked for the Central Council since 1999. He had served as an assistant to the European director of the Claims Conference.

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