In yet another article published in Germany, almost two weeks after we had our Shabbat service, here is more positive feedback, and the hope that this will be the first of many return visits.
There were several articles published in Germany about our visit there. But this, is a bit different. This one is a commentary on our visit, and the positive reaction to our efforts of Tikun Olam!
Herr Krämer, who was our escort and guide to many of the Jewish sites of interest in Creglingen sent us a photo of the synagogue in Archshofen (where Susanna Heiman practiced her Judaism as a child). Compare the photo dating back to the early 20th century to the image of the same building (no longer a synagogue) today in the 21st century!
For many generations, the Christians and Jews of Oberdorf am Ipf lived in peace and harmony, sharing friendship and fellowship in their community. And then, in 1933 a very dark period in history began, shattering the community of Oberdorf, eradicating the Jewish population and changing the community forever.
Today we gather, Christians and Jews together, to celebrate and remember the beauty of the community of Oberdorf as we participate in the first Jewish religious observance in the Oberdorf Synagogue since Kristallnacht, November 1938.
It is in the spirit of Tikun Olam, תיקון עולם —humanity’s shared responsibility to heal, repair and transform the world—that we all share this very special time together. May this spirit continue the fellowship once enjoyed by this community, and may it honor the memory of those who came here before us.
Our sincerest gratitude to the Trägerverin ehemalige Synagoge Oberdorf, and the communities of Oberdorf and Bopfingen, for making this very special day a reality.
My trip to Germany was fantastic. I really enjoyed seeing another part of the world, and how they live. I especially liked meeting all of our host families. They were all absolutely fantastic. I loved meeting them and look forward to keeping in contact with all of them. I’m hoping that we will be able to meet with them again in the future. —Shawn Lutz
Overall, this trip to Germany was a great experience. We got the opportunity to learn about Jewish people and Jewish culture from times before, after and during he holocaust. Although this trip was a fantastic learning experience, we also made so many new friends. My favorite part of the trip was definitely the time we spent with the host families. We expanded our knowledge about Judaism and formed new friendships at the same time which is absolutely great. Here is a picture of all of the host students during the last few hours we spent together. —Sarah Lutz
What was supposed to be our last dinner together on Thursday evening was also Lathan’s birthday! Not knowing what was in store for us the following morning, we celebrated a very special birthday, as well as our final evening together. Little did we suspect we’d be able to do a bit more shopping in Frankfurt on Friday. . .
Since we were celebrating, we included two very special guests; Felix Kerntke, a Theology researcher in Frankfurt University who lived with the Prial family while he was in high school, and Jan de Jong, our amazing bus driver. Thanks to both of them for joining us!
On Thursday we left our friends in Creglingen and headed up to Frankfurt for the final stop on our adventure. We visited the Jewish Museum of Frankfurt for a bit of insight into Jewish culture. It turns out that our group was quite unusual for them. Normally they are visited by non-Jews who want to learn about Judaism. We came knowing about Judaism, but learned more about the diaspora and how the Jews practiced Judaism in Germany.
Hi New York! Been having a great time here in Germany. Today we’re in Frankfurt, but my favorite day was Saturday, when we climbed a local mountain with our host families from Bopfingen. They showed us around the town and we really bonded with them. We didn’t know much German, but having them speak English really helped. This has truly been a life changing experience, something that not many other kids are going to be able to do, and I’m so glad that I was able to partake in it. I have learned so much about my heritage and culture, as well as Jewish history in general. Here is a photo of the houses in Bopfingen, as seen from the mountain that we climbed. —Andrew Obergh