Why Berlin?

We are often asked how Jews could come to Berlin, as if nothing has ever happened here... Indeed, for many people, visiting Germany and specifically Berlin is an odd notion. Some Jews have boycotted Germany for many years, some still do. Even though we live here, we do not condemn this rejection of Germany: After all, Jewish identity is based on memory and remembrance. Some survivors, albeit very few, are still among us - and in historical terms, the Holocaust took place just a short while ago.

On the other hand, Berlin was a focal point for Jewish modernity: Moses Mendelssohn and Jewish enlightenment, Abraham Geiger and the Reform movement, Azriel Hildesheimer and Modern Orthodoxy, to name a few examples. No attempt at comprehending our Jewish world in the 21st century could do without Berlin - on top of its great importance for German history and for understanding how Germany became what it now is.

From our personal perspective, visiting Berlin and even living in this city does not mean or suggest forgiveness (although many Germans like to misinterpret it this way). It is rather a personal journey for a better understanding of the nation that has caused so much suffering to our own. As history guides, we wish to make your journey a comprehensive and thoughtful experience.

It is an educational journey, yet not one that would necessarily result in accepting the German narrative. We are fully aware of the problematic aspects that go along with a Jewish visit to Berlin. And we think it is totally understandable, legitimate and justified to take issue with Germany. We do not see ourselves as salesmen" of a vigorously re-branded Germany. Our goal as your hosts is to provide you with relevant insights and to help you form your own nuanced opinion. At the end of the day, it is up to you to pass judgement on Germany - for better or for worse.