Berlin – Germany Summer 2019 with Rabbi Skoff
June 25 – July 2, 2019
The only Germany I knew growing up was from old black and white news clips I would see on television,
of dead Jewish bodies and burning synagogues, of human monsters named Hitler, Goebbels and Himmler.
Much later as a rabbinical student I discovered a second Germany, a different Germany, a country that outlaws Anti-Semitism and requires all of its ministers to study in Israel and learn the story of the Jewish people, as part of their religious training. It is this “second” Germany that has had fewer Anti-Semitic incidents than any other European country in recent years, and has seen its Jewish population increase.
The recent acts of Anti-Semitism in our own country during the last few weeks have continued to occupy
my mind, and I have been thinking about Germany. Two different Germanys exist for me. I need to reconcile the Germany of World War II and the Germany of today. I feel compelled to visit Germany this summer, to imagine the events that have forever defined those streets, and to see with today’s eyes what Germany has done to change its culture and recognize its past, to show its continuing regret.
I am inviting Park congregants to journey with me. I have arranged an 8 day trip, including travel, 6 days of touring, and the unique experience of observing the past & present coming together in Berlin. I also look forward to the powerful experience of Shabbat in Berlin. As I experience this for myself, I would find it meaningful to share it with my community, and I invite you to share it with me. The trip size is limited, designed for a group of 30. I have personally interviewed and chosen the tour guide and she and I will lead a trip in a meaningful, memorable, educational, and yes, enjoyable way. This trip will include the exciting and positive that exists in today’s German-Jewish community, and a sobering look into the past. It is open for couples, singles or families, although very young children may not be fully able to take in the experience. Please note that while the itinerary for the trip is below, registration forms for the trip need to be obtained through my assistant, Eva at (216) 371-2244 Ext. 127 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I am able to offer a significant reduction in the cost if you sign up by December 19th, or until the trip becomes full.