New Customs for the New Year

Girl releasing a paper ship into the waterA few years ago, a guest lecturer from New York visited the Berlin synagogue at Fraenkelufer and showed our congregation a new way of practicing an old Rosh ha-Shanah custom, that of tashlikh.

Usually Jews gather for the New Year holiday at the bank of a river and scatter breadcrumbs in the water as a symbolic way of shedding their misdeeds of the last year. The American professor did not strew breadcrumbs in the canal across from the synagogue however; rather, she placed a little homemade paper boat into the water, in which she’d tucked a letter to God. In the letter, she begged for forgiveness for her offences and affirmed her resolutions. The letter also contained thanks for the good experiences of the last year and her wishes for the coming one.  continue reading

Coming Home to Poland

emblem with Star of David   Map of Europe with red flags

Initiated in 2007 by the Israeli artist Yael Bartana, the Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland seeks to “bring back” 3.3 millions of Jews, “replenishing” the country which suffered the greatest loss of Jewish life between 1941 and 1945. An estimated three million Polish Jews were murdered by the National Socialists, 300 000 were able to flee.
The Renaissance Movement called an international conference in order to formulate its agenda at the 7th Berlin Biennale in May 2012. The movement was represented at last year’s Venice Biennale by various films portraying fictional “homecomings.” See more:

Anna Povejsilova, Media