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Posts Tagged ‘Scandinavia’

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Highlights of Scandinavia and Russia

Monday, August 28th, 2017

Jews in Berlin – a new beginning…?

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Having just returned from a truly “Amazing” Journey with 130 passengers throughout Scandinavia, Russia and even Germany, I am in a reflective mood.  In the hustle and bustle of leading groups around the world, I sometimes don’t have the opportunity to actual absorb the essenses of where I am.  Now that I am seizing that opportunity, I am reminded of a stop that meant a lot to me.

Our first port of call was one that I was a little unsure of.  Historically, Berlin has been a city in flux and I felt similar feelings about visitin g a place with such a harsh history. Turns out it was an eye opening experience and a very memorable one, in more good ways than I imagined. I learned that Berlin is trying to reinvent itself and that the dedication to a Jewish cause is currently respectable at the very least.

There is a noticeable vibe in the city as it works to earn the respect of the world, and as a Jew, I felt a sense of passion and change for the better.  Our guide was very poignant as he described Berlin of yesterday compared to Berlin today saying that after decades of hate, it is now a city aimed at youth, peace and resistance to becoming again what it once was.

Seeing the remnants of the Berlin Wall and the landmarks such as the Brandenburg Gate (pictured here), as well has hearing some of the stories of survival, escape…war and peace, were powerful features and definite highlights of our tour.  I think I share the same sentiment as most of my group in stating that time in Berlin was memorable and hopeful, but not without pain.

In the end, I felt that Berlin is on its way back. I felt good about my visit and about the future of the Jewish people in that part of the world.  I spent an hour and a half in the Jewish Museum and I spent time with an Israeli guide who made “Aliyah” to Germany…and those few moments-in-time showed me promise.  Berlin has been a bad place; a very bad place for so long. But now its on its way to being a good place and lets all hope it continues to reinvent itself in the years ahead.