The Jewish community today
Since the re-establishment of the Jewish religious community in Dortmund after 1945, it has been in a process of constant change and development.
Originally founded by survivors of the Holocaust, the community experienced substantial growth in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union. As the barriers to free movement came down, many Jews moved to Israel, the USA, and also Germany to begin a new life.
Thanks to this influx, the number of Jews in Dortmund has grown to around 3,000 members at the present time. Integrating the newcomers into Jewish and German society meant both an enrichment and a challenge for the Jewish community. It gave rise to new tasks: providing social care and support for the – in many cases, elderly – new members and familiarising them with religious roots and traditions, for example. Language courses and learning groups were also soon created, the range of cultural activities broadened, and the premises enlarged.
Within the Jewish community as a whole, many members have come together to form interest groups. So, for example, the women’s group, the Makkabi Sports Club with the many different sporting activities it offers, a variety of charitable organisations, the student group, the lively “Emuna” youth centre and the meetings for senior citizens ensure a broad and varied range of offerings within the community. In the field of education, the Religious School, with the possibility to choose Jewish Religious Studies as a subject for the final school-leaving examination, and “Ahavat Israel”, a Jewish day and Sunday school for children, have become firmly established. And the “Brücken-Kindergarten” on Arndtstrasse, a Jewish day care facility for children, first opened its doors more than ten years ago.