Berlin’s new Chabad house opened.
The sanctuary and study rooms of the Szloma Albam House-Rohr Chabad Center, located in the former west Berlin, were overflowing with guests for Sunday’s event. The building project, which took several years to build, cost about $7 million. Most of the money came from private donations, according to Rabbi Yehudah Teichtal, director of the center.
Among the speakers were German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier; Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, former chief rabbi of Tel Aviv; Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky of Chabad Lubavitch headquarters in New York City; Nathan Kalmanowicz from the board of the Central Council of Jews in Germany; Gideon Joffe, president of Berlin’s Jewish community; Ehrhart Korting, Berlin’s interior minister; and William Timken, the U.S. ambassador to Germany.
A street fair following the ceremony featured a performance by Avraham Fried, a Chabad entertainer from Brooklyn. A private banquet was planned for special guests in the evening.
The Jewish population in Germany has quadrupled to about 120,000 with the influx of former Soviet Jews since 1990.