Members of Congress, German Officials, Diplomats, Jewish Leaders, and German Youth Attend Capitol Hill Event
May 5, 2013, New York… An historic event in Washington, hosted by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, and Ranking Minority Member Eliot Engel, brought together a unique group of Jewish leaders, German officials, diplomats, Members of Congress and German youth to mark the release of an unprecedented, two volume work, documenting more than 1300 synagogues and prayer houses destroyed on Pogromnacht, November 9th, 1938. Among the Members of Congress were Grace Meng of Queens, Ted Deutch of Florida, Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, and Tom Marino of Pennsylvania. Other attendees included Min. Reuven Azar, DCM, Israel Embassy, Dr. Philip Ackerman, DCM, German Embassy, Norbert Roettgen, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the German Bundestag, former German Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, Exec. Vice Pres. of Allianz SE, Peter Lefkin, Vice Pres. of Allianz North America, Malcolm Hoenlein, Exec. Vice Chairman, Conference of Presidents, Professor Richard Stone, Immediate Past Chairman, Conference of Presidents, as well as leaders of many Jewish organizations.
This project, which took more than ten years to research, compile, and publish, was led by Professor Meir Schwarz of Jerusalem, who heads Beit Ashkenaz and the Synagogue Memorial Project. His singular dedication along with his committed associates from Israel and Germany, made this a reality. Malcolm Hoenlein, who was involved from the onset, enlisted a group of American Jews dedicated to memorializing these communities and their synagogues, along with Ambassador Ischinger and Peter Lefkin of Allianz, to provide vital support, helping to bring this to fruition.
This work revises past assumptions and documents a far greater number of Jewish houses of worship that were destroyed than previously acknowledged. It is intended to remind the reader and researchers of the true scope of the destruction and the role ordinary citizens played in aiding the anti-Jewish attacks, and of the magnitude of the loss. But also, it recalls the vibrant Jewish life and the celebrations that were held in those buildings, the communal life that dated back 1000 years and more.
Copies of the two volume work were given to the members of Congress to present to an institution in their constituency. CD’s of the books will be made available for worldwide distribution. A website is being developed with the book and additional new material. http://www.germansynagogues.com/
For more information please contact Sam Schear Sam@conferenceofpresidents.org.
The Conference of Presidents is the central coordinating body representing 50 national Jewish organizations on issues of national and international concern