NewsPeople in Germany lack contact with Jewish life

People in Germany lack contact with Jewish life

Shakshuka in a restaurant or a klezmer concert is often everything that many Germans associate with Jewish life. Almost every second person has never had a direct point of contact, according to a survey.

Munich – Almost every second German has never come into contact with Jewish life. That is the result of a survey by the opinion research institute Civey on behalf of the Hanns Seidel Foundation and the Orthodox Rabbinical Conference Germany (ORD).

This year, the festival year “1700 Years of Jewish Life in Germany”, 10,000 German citizens aged 18 and over were surveyed.

It turned out that many people know little about Jewish life. A total of 46 percent of those questioned said they had never been in direct contact with Jewish life. Only 18.7 percent said they had learned something about Jewish life through school; 17.9 percent had already visited a synagogue.

Nationwide, however, the results were very different. While an average of 16.6 percent of those surveyed said they had Jewish friends or acquaintances, 35.2 percent of those surveyed in Frankfurt and 33.1 percent in Berlin said so. In Munich it was 29.4 percent – in cities with large Jewish communities, the likelihood of contact was also higher.

In rural regions with small communities and without regular Jewish cultural events, on the other hand, the number of people without any reference to Jewish life was particularly high – in the Kyffhäuserkreis (Thuringia), for example, this was 61 percent of the respondents, in the Saale-Orla-Kreis (Thuringia) 63, 2 percent and in the Neckar-Odenwald district (Baden-Württemberg) 53 percent.

With a share of 55 percent, more than half of the survey participants most likely associated Jewish life with political and historical events and corresponding media coverage. Almost one in five (19.5 percent) named the Holocaust, 14.2 percent of those surveyed named anti-Semitism and attacks on Jews and 21.9 percent named politics in the Middle East and Israel as a perception of Jewish life.

“This is a sad result and shows that in society, for example in schools, educational institutions or the media, more needs to be conveyed about Jewish life and the contribution of Jews to our society,” commented the board of the Orthodox Rabbinical Conference on the results of the survey.

“The survey shows that Jewish life in Germany remains abstract for many,” said Philipp Hildmann, head of the Competence Center for Social Cohesion and Intercultural Dialogue at the Hanns Seidel Foundation. “Instead of curiosity, a distance has arisen that urgently needs to be resolved through more education and the transfer of knowledge.” By focusing more on the Middle East conflict than on the Jewish people living in Germany, “one does not do justice to the Jews living here in any way.” , so Hildmann.

“As before, too little is known about the positive contributions of Judaism to German and European culture, and it is rarely a topic in schools or in the media,” regretted the board of directors of the rabbinical conference. “These are elementary building blocks to reduce distances and prejudices so that ignorance or fear of foreigners no longer turns into anti-Semitism, Israel hatred based on a false Middle East narrative or even violence against Jews living here, who have been inseparable for 1700 years Are part of Germany. ”Dpa

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