(JTA) — Germany has boosted the annual subsidy to Germany’s Jewish umbrella organization by 70%, in a move intended to shore up security and support a new center for Jewish intellectual life inspired by one closed by the Nazis.
The Central Council of Jews in Germany, which distributes government funds to Jewish communities and institutions, will get 22 million Euros (about $24 million) from Germany starting next year, up from 13 million Euros this year.
Most of the increase — 16 million Euros — will benefit the operation of the Jewish Academy in Frankfurt, according to Central Council President Josef Schuster. The new institution — envisioned as an inheritor of the Jewish House of Free Study, or Lehrhaus, founded in 1920 by Jewish philosopher Franz Rosenzweig — has been in the works for more than a decade and is scheduled to open in 2024.
Once open, the academy will “formulate Jewish perspectives on debates in society at large” and within Jewish contexts, Schuster said on Monday during a ceremony in Berlin to celebrate his group’s agreement with the government. “It will thus make an important contribution to anchoring Jewish thinking and Jewish values in our society.”
The German government and the Central Council first entered into a contract back in 2002, putting the Jewish organization for the first time on a par in terms of funding with the Catholic and Protestant churches. (The state does not have a contract with Muslims in Germany, who have more than one umbrella organization.)
“Protecting and supporting Jewish life is an important part of our responsibility today,” Germany’s Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said during Monday’s signing ceremony, adding that the increased funds would “strengthen the educational and commemorative work, as well as the security of Jewish communities.”
The council is also creating a nationwide training program for security personnel at Jewish institutions, in cooperation with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce; and is dedicating funds to projects dealing with antisemitism in schools, including training for textbook authors and the assessment of textbook manuscripts for antisemitic content.
The first government contract, signed in November 2002 with then-Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, cemented the legal relationship between the German government and the Central Council for the first time since World War II.
Germany was already subsidizing the Jewish umbrella group but tripled its commitment at the time to nearly $3 million to help meet the needs of a Jewish population that had surged after 1990 with the arrival of emigres from the former Soviet Union.
Before Hitler came to power in 1933, there were about 500,000 Jews in Germany. After World War II, when most Holocaust survivors left Europe for the USA or Israel, there were some 25,000 Jews in former West Germany, most of them survivors from Eastern Europe. Today, there are about 90,000 members of Jewish communities in Germany, and as many as 100,000 more who are unaffiliated. The vast majority have roots in the former Soviet Union.
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Dr. NATHAN WISEMAN
Wiseman, Nathan Elliot
1944 – 2023
Nathan, our beloved husband, Dad, and Zaida, died unexpectedly on December 13, 2023. Nathan was born on December 16, 1944, in Winnipeg, MB, the eldest of Sam and Cissie Wiseman’s three children.
He is survived by his loving wife Eva; children Sam (Natalie) and Marni (Shane); grandchildren Jacob, Jonah, Molly, Isabel, Nicole, and Poppy; brother David (Sherrill); sister Barbara (Ron); sister-in-law Agi (Sam) and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Nathan grew up in the north end of Winnipeg surrounded by his loving family. He received his MD from the University of Manitoba in 1968, subsequently completed his General Surgery residency at the University of Manitoba and went on to complete a fellowship in Paediatric Surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital of Harvard University. His surgeon teachers and mentors were world renowned experts in the specialty, and even included a Nobel prize winner.
His practice of Paediatric Surgery at Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg spanned almost half a century. He loved his profession and helping patients, even decades later often recounting details about the many kiddies on whom he had operated. Patients and their family members would commonly approach him on the street and say, “Remember me Dr. Wiseman?”. And he did! His true joy was caring for his patients with compassion, patience, unwavering commitment, and excellence. He was a gifted surgeon and leaves a profound legacy. He had no intention of ever fully retiring and operated until his very last day. He felt privileged to have the opportunity to mentor, support and work with colleagues, trainees, nurses, and others health care workers that enriched his day-to-day life and brought him much happiness and fulfillment. He was recognized with many awards and honors throughout his career including serving as Chief of Surgery of Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg, President of the Canadian Association of Pediatric Surgeons, and as a Governor of the American College of Surgeons. Most importantly of all he helped and saved the lives of thousands and thousands of Manitoba children. His impact on the generations of children he cared for, and their families, is truly immeasurable.
Nathan’s passion for golf was ignited during his childhood summers spent at the Winnipeg Beach Golf Course. Southwood Golf and Country Club has been his second home since 1980. His game was excellent and even in his last year he shot under his age twice! He played an honest “play as it lies” game. His golf buddies were true friends and provided him much happiness both on and off the course for over forty years. However, his passion for golf extended well beyond the eighteenth hole. He immersed himself in all aspects of the golf including collecting golf books, antiques, and memorabilia. He was a true scholar of the game, reading golf literature, writing golf poetry, and even rebuilding and repairing antique golf clubs. Unquestionably, his knowledge and passion for the game was limitless.
Nathan approached his many woodworking and workshop projects with zeal and creativity, and he always had many on the go. During the winter he was an avid curler, and in recent years he also enjoyed the study of Yiddish. Nathan never wasted any time and lived his life to the fullest.
Above all, Nathan was a loving husband, father, grandfather, son, father-in-law, son-in-law, uncle, brother, brother-in-law, cousin, and granduncle. He loved his family and lived for them, and this love was reciprocated. He met his wife Eva when he was a 20-year-old medical student, and she was 18 years old. They were happily married for 56 years. They loved each other deeply and limitlessly and were proud of each other’s accomplishments. He loved the life and the family they created together. Nathan was truly the family patriarch, an inspiration and a mentor to his children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, and many others. He shared his passion for surgery and collecting with his son and was very proud to join his daughter’s medical practice (he loved Thursdays). His six grandchildren were his pride and joy and the centre of his world.
Throughout his life Nathan lived up to the credo “May his memory be a blessing.” His life was a blessing for the countless newborns, infants, toddlers, children, and teenagers who he cared for, for his colleagues, for his friends and especially for his family. We love him so much and there are no words to describe how much he will be missed.
A graveside funeral was held at the Shaarey Zedek cemetery on December 15, 2023. Pallbearers were his loving grandchildren. The family would like to extend their gratitude to Rabbi Yosef Benarroch of Adas Yeshurun Herzlia Congregation.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba, in the name of Dr. Nathan Wiseman.
Bill Maher tells it like it is when it comes to what “the river to the sea” really means
Bill Maher cuts to the chase like no one else. Here’s a link to a segment from the most recent episode of “Real Time with Bill Maher” where he exposes the total hypocrisy of the “useful idiots” everywhere chanting “from the river to the sea”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KP-CRXROorw
Jewish community holds solidarity rally November 25
The Jewish Federation of Winnipeg held a rally in support of Israel on Saturday evening, November 25.
A number of speakers addressed the crowd of 800, including Rabbi Yosef Benarroch of Adas Yeshurun-Herzlia Congregation; Members of Parliament Ben Carr & Marty Morantz; Yolanda Papini-Pollock of Winnipeg Friends of Israel; Paula McPherson, former Brock Corydon teacher; and Gustavo Zentner, President of the Jewish Federation.
Click here to watch Ben Carr’s remarks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crfREGNRKfg
Click here to watch a video of Marty Morantz’s remarks: https://studio.youtube.com/video/zHzC-iaqivg/ed
Click here to watch a video of Gustavo Zentner’s remarks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3M_cCYuLgs