German state to offer basic course in Judaism in public schools


(JTA) — The German state of Saxony will be introducing a basic course in Judaism to its public schools.

The course starting in the next academic year will join the available required courses in other religions such as Catholicism and Protestantism. Jewish pupils in Saxony had been exempt from them.

Other German states already have introduced the course in Judaism, which is open to students of any background.

The new course was announced this week.

Children of other faiths learning about Judaism with Jewish students  “can contribute to a better understanding” of the religion, said the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, according to reports by the German news agencies dpa and epd.

Three middle schools in the cities of Chemnitz, Leipzig and Dresden will offer the course. High schools will follow in the coming years.

The course will be designed with the state Jewish umbrella organization. There reportedly are 2,600 Jews registered as members of Jewish communities in the former East German state.

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