General facts and Figures about (Jewish) Berlin

  • 1 of the 16 states that make the federal republic of Germany, is Berlin, i.e. it's more like the State of Washington than Washington DC. The state of Berlin has debts that sum up to about 60% of its GDP and an unemployment rate of about 11%.

  • 2 official Jewish communities exist in Berlin. One of them is simply called the Jewish Community", originally established in 1671. The other one is Adass Yisroel", originally established in 1869. Some people say that the latter is a hoax. I can't write here what I think because I'd get sued for that...

  • 3 city-states exist in Germany. Except for Berlin the other two are Hamburg and Bremen. Unlike these two medieval fortresses of freedom, Berlin has been independent only since 1990.

  • 4 rabbinical seminaries are active in Berlin today: One by Chabad-Lubawitsch (orthodox-chassidic), another by the Lauder foundation (litvak-orthodox), the reform Abraham Geiger College and the conservative Zacharias Frankel College (the latter two cooperate with the university of Potsdam but are actually located in Berlin).

  • 5 kosher restaurants and cafés are active in Berlin (when counting generously).

  • 9% additional tax are paid by those who choose to be members of religious communities (e.g. Protestant, Catholic or Jewish). There is no separation of state and religion in Germany's everyday life.

  • 12 districts or, actually, cities form together the state of Berlin. Most of them were incorporated into greater Berlin in 1920. These 12 cities are, in turn, divided into 95 quarters or boroughs.

  • 13 synagogues are active in Berlin. All of them are protected 24/7 by state policemen. Only 4 of them were active synagogues before the war. Back then, there were more than 80 synagogues in Berlin, not including unofficial shtiblach".

  • 38 institutions for higher education exist in Berlin: 4 universities, 4 academies of art, 7 public colleges and 23 private colleges. Berlin's oldest university was opened in 1810 - before the 19th century, Berlin wasn't really important.

  • 80% of Berlin's current residents were not here when the city was still divided. Since reunification, a massive exchange took place. Specifically in the most central neighborhoods, the vast majority was either born after 1990 or, more often, moved to Berlin at some point since then (like myself in 2006). Many of the original residents cannot afford living here anymore - a process known as gentrification.

  • 85% (approx.) of the members of the Jewish Community in Berlin are Russian speaking Jews that immigrated after the fall of the Soviet Union. This is considered a rather low percentage of Russian speaking people in Jewish communities in Germany.

  • 150 different performance theaters are located in Berlin.

  • 180 different museums in Berlin attract 15 million visitors each year, about 750,000 of them visit the Jewish Museum.

  • 368 meters high is the tallest building in Berlin, and, actually, in Germany: East-Berlin's TV tower, inaugurated in 1969 for East-Germany's 20th birthday.

  • 400 pupils (approx.) visit the Jewish high school in Berlin, which is open for all religions/denominations. About 60% of them are actually Jewish.

  • 440 different galleries for modern and contemporary art are active in Berlin, more than in any other European city, even Paris.

  • 892 square kilometer is the size of Berlin since 1920, that's 9 times larger than Paris or 17 times larger than Tel Aviv.

  • 969 bridges can be crossed in Berlin (more than in Venice that has just 410 of them). By the way, if you'd visit Hamburg, you could cross no less than 2,485 bridges...

  • 1237 is commonly considered as Berlin's birth year. The first written document mentioning Berlin dates back to that year.

  • 1,316 meters is the length of the longest remnant of the Berlin Wall, the so-called East Side Gallery, with paintings of 118 artists from 21 countries.

  • 3,785 people per square kilometer is the population density in Berlin (in Paris: 21,289 people per square kilometer). Nevertheless, real estate prices in Berlin go up at about 10% a year since 2007.

  • 6,500 (non-kosher) restaurants wait for you in Berlin, not including 225 bars, 540 cafés, about 940 pubs, and 2800 snack stands

  • 10,800 Jews (approx.) are members of the Jewish Community in Berlin. There's also an unknown number of Jews living in Berlin without any official affiliation to the community (possibly even 30,000 or so), most of them don't want to become members because of the afore mentioned religion tax". Among these are many Israelis like myself, but nobody really knows how many, some say even 15,000. Before the Nazis came to power, there were about 170,000 Jews in Berlin...

  • 97,996 dogs officially live in Berlin (i.e. registered dogs).

  • 160,000 (approx.) students live in Berlin. About a fifth of them are foreign students.

  • 439,971 trees flourish in Berlin, most of them are Tilia trees, but as nobody has really heard of this term, they are also known as lime trees (in German: Linden, like in Unter den Linden", Berlin's most famous avenue). In spite of their name, they don't have anything to do with the lime citrus fruit.

  • 3.3 million people live in Berlin today (just about a third of the population in the urban metropolis of Paris). In 1942, at the peak of WW2, there were about 4.5 million people in Berlin. By the way, 27% of Berlin's population are foreign immigrants, more than half of these are 1st generation immigrants like myself (this is one of the reasons for Berlin being considered as Germany's least German" city).
  • 11 million tourists come to Berlin every year, booking here a total of 25 million nights.