Rabbi Dr. Tovia Ben-Chorin
Dr. Tovia Ben-Chorin was born in 1936 as the son of German-born parents in Jerusalem. His father, Shalom Ben-Chorin, a famous writer, journalist and theologian, was committed to the Christian-Jewish dialogue, the overcoming of Christian anti-Semitism and the possibility of a theology after Auschwitz. Tovia Ben-Chorin grew up in Israel, studying the Bible and Jewish history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and at the Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati (USA), where he was ordained as a rabbi in 1964. In this role, he spent a long time in the USA, South Africa, England, Israel and Switzerland. Married and the father of two children, Tovia Ben-Chorin preaches since April 2009 in the Synagogue on Pestalozzistrasse in Berlin and represents the liberal direction of Judaism. He has twice been the chair of the Israel Council of Progressive Rabbis and is a lecturer at the Abraham Geiger College, which was founded in 1999 as the first rabbinical seminary in Central Europe after the Shoah. Since then rabbis for Jewish communities are trained here for Central and Eastern Europe.
Jewish Community in Berlin
The history of Jews in Berlin begins shortly after the town emergence. Until the beginning of modern times, Jews were repeatedly driven out of the city. The Jewish presence in Berlin became stable starting with 1671, growing in the 19th and early 20th century up to 173,000 people in 1925. The Jewish population played an important and influential role in Berlin at this time. In the era of National Socialism 55,000 Jews were victims of the Shoah, the others either fled or were expelled. Only 9,000 Jews survived in Berlin hiding or in a marriage with a non-Jewish spouse. The Jewish Community of Berlin, an umbrella organization for various streams of Judaism in the city, now has 11,000 members and runs six synagogues, as well as some private synagogue communities.
Cantor: Isaak Sheffer
Choir and musicians of the Synagogue Pestalozzistrasse