Conference of Rabbis: Concrete Aid for New Eastern Communities

Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) (02/04/04/)

On the third and last day of the Conference of Rabbis in Vienna, the orthodox rabbis decided unanimously to offer concrete measures of support to the new Jewish communities in Eastern Europe.

As the Rabbinical Center of Europe (RCE) disclosed, the meeting of rabbis in Vienna decided upon offering aid to the new 219 Jewish communities of Eastern Europe. Thus, the RCE will have restored large portions of scrolls from the Torah found in Prague and Vilnius, which were plundered, desecrated and hidden away. Afterwards, the scrolls will be brought to those communities in Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Romania, the Ukraine and Russia that urgently need furnishings for their synagogues. Furthermore, fifteen young rabbis from the RCE will be sent to Germany, Scandinavia, Russia and the Ukraine "in order to introduce to those regions a mobile service of rabbinate which will attend to numerous new Jewish communities." And finally, in conjunction with the Lauder Foundation, the current holiday exchange program for children and young people from Eastern and Western Europe is to be expanded. The goal is to help children from needy families, particularly from Eastern Europe.

An Appeal to the Republic of Belarus and Turkey

During their three-day conference in Vienna the Jewish scholars also concerned themselves with topics of religious freedom and integration. It was decided upon to draft an appeal to the governments of the Republic of Belarus and Turkey "to value the needs of their religious minorities." The integration of fellow Jewish citizens from Eastern Europe was judged to be a positive step and "emphasis should be placed on Germany’s achievements at integration," according to the document. Over 90,000 Jews have been accepted by Germany over the past number of years.