German Govn’t Doubles Funding for Jewish Community

Reflecting their growing size and prominence, the German government has signed a new treaty with the country’s Jewish community that will double its annual state funding.

The Central Council of Jews in Germany said that it would receive 10 million euros ($13 million) from the government each year from 2012, up from five million euros currently.

The updated treaty, replacing an accord from 2003, was the result of intensive negotiations with Berlin.

Under the original treaty, the government pledged to maintain German Jewish cultural heritage and to help politically and socially integrate the council.

It has now placed the Jewish community on a similar footing as the Lutheran and Catholic churches in Germany, which also receive state funding.

The agreement assists with the upkeep of Jewish cemeteries and synagogues, subsidizing religious research centers and earmarking funds to train rabbis and cantors to tend to a rising number of Jewish immigrants.