Nativ, German Jews hold ‘friendly’ talks

Representatives of the German Jewish community and an Israeli outreach agency met to work out their differences.

The community and Nativ have squabbled over the latter’s agenda on Russian-speaking Jews in Germany.

Stephan Kramer, secretary-general of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, told JTA that the atmosphere in Monday’s meeting in Israel was “friendly,” adding that “we have more to discuss.”

Reportedly the meeting included representatives of Nativ, the Jewish Agency for Israel, the Central Council and the Central Welfare Council for Jews in Germany.

Last July, Israel sent two Nativ emissaries to Germany, reportedly to stem assimilation and spark interest in making aliyah.

Kramer was among the more vociferous challengers to the mandate, saying outreach was already being done by the Central Council, the Jewish Agency and the Central Welfare Council. He also was concerned that Nativ would destablize the fragile structure of Germany’s Jewish community by undermining the authority of existing organizations.

Germany’s Jewish population has more than tripled to about 120,000 since the fall of communism, but most of the newcomers from the former Soviet Union are not active in Jewish life. An estimated 100,000 others have some Jewish connection, though they are not formally identifying as Jews.

NEXT STORY