Reform rabbis to be ordained in Berlin


BERLIN (JTA) — Three new Reform rabbis will be ordained in Berlin in the second such ceremony held in Germany.

The Abraham Geiger College at the University of Potsdam, which is marking its 10th anniversary, will ordain Gábor Lengyel, Richard Newman and Roly Zylbersztein.

Also graduating is Juval Porat, who according to an announcement from the Geiger College is the first person to be trained in Germany as a cantor after the Holocaust. Porat trained at the college’s new Jewish Institute of Cantorial Arts, established in 2007.

The ceremony, which will be held Thursday in the Rykestrasse Synagogue in the former East Berlin, is being hosted by the Central Council of Jews in Germany, which earlier this month co-hosted the ordination of the first two Orthodox rabbis trained at the Rabbinerseminar zu Berlin.

Some 500 guests are expected at the ordination ceremony, including Rabbi Ellen Steinberg Dreyfus, president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

The Geiger College rabbinical program was founded in 1999 and held its first ordination ceremony in the fall of 2006 in Dresden. It is supported by the German federal government; the state of Brandenburg; the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of all the German states; the Central Council of Jews in Germany; and the Leo Baeck Foundation.

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