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April 26, 2023 2:05 pm

German Government Substantially Increases Annual Grant to Main Jewish Organization

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A protestor outside the Documenta art festival in Germany holds a sign reading “Where Israel is boycotted, Jews are boycotted.” Photo: Reuters/Boris Roessler/dpa

The German government on Wednesday announced a hefty increase in its annual grant to the country’s main Jewish organization, with a large portion of the funds earmarked for increased security at Jewish institutions and broader efforts to combat rising antisemitism.

The agreement between the federal authorities and the Central Council of Jews in Germany was signed at a ceremony in Berlin. Under the terms of the agreement, the annual contribution of the government to the Council will increase from 13 million Euros ($14.3 million) to 22 million Euros ($24.2 million). It was signed by German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser and the Council’s president, Josef Schuster.

“It is a miracle and a great blessing that after the Holocaust, a crime against humanity committed by Germans, there is again such a diverse range of Jewish life in Germany,” Faeser remarked in an accompanying statement.

Noting the “considerable” increase in the grant, Faeser added that “in this way we can further strengthen the educational and commemorative work, but also the security of Jewish communities.”

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The additional funds will enable the Council to launch a nationwide training program for security personnel at Jewish institutions. Additionally, more funds will flow to a project countering antisemitism in schools, which would include training for textbook authors and more monitoring of school textbooks for problematic content. The new Jewish Academy in Frankfurt is a third destination for the increased funds.

The increase is the second in the space of five years. The annual grant was last raised in July 2018, from 11 million Euros to 13 million Euros.

Antisemitism has risen precipitously in Germany in recent years. According to data released by the Federal Criminal Police Office in Oct. 2022, more 1,500 antisemitic attacks had already been recorded around the country during that year — an average of five per day.

A total of 3,028 antisemitic incidents were recorded in 2021 by Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Interior — a 30 percent increase on the previous year. Nearly half of the incidents occurred in the second quarter of the year, during the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip that witnessed antisemitic violence accompanying “Free Palestine” demonstrations around the world.


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