Jewish Life in Berlin

New Synagogue Berlin, 1896

 The first documentation of Jewish presence in Berlin reaches as far back as 1295.
After several acts of persecution and expulsion in Brandenburg and Berlin during the Middle Ages, today's over 12,000-member-strong Jewish community started out in 1671 when several wealthy Jewish families - expelled from Austria - were allowed to settle in Berlin. This was due to the fact that Emperor Frederick William of Prussia needed help with the reconstruction of the country after the Thirty Years War.

Today, Berlin's Jewish community is a fast growing one. Many Jews in Berlin are unaffiliated, so that the total number of Jewish inhabitants is estimated at 20,000 - 30,000. In 1991 the German government adopted the Contingent Refugee Act which "exempted Jews from the many hurdles that immigrants face when applying for German citizenship" (ACJ), which subsequently led to an immigration wave of Soviet Jews.

Nowadays you can find 7 Synagogues in Berlin (photos here :  Rykestraße 53) with their religious orientations ranging from orthodox to egalitarian (addresses and religious orientation).

Jüdische Gemeinde Berlin

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