The official kickoff of the Year of Celebration took place on Sunday, 21 February 2021 with our 1700 Years of Jewish Life in Germany opening ceremony. The event was broadcast at 4:30 p.m. CET on Das Erste, the German TV program on Deutsche Welle, and on phoenix.
The viewing and listening audience enjoyed a kaleidoscope of what makes up Jewish life in Germany today. Jewish young people shared their perspectives, their view of the past, and their expectations of the future. Public figures including rapper and author Ben Salomo, actress and author Susan Sideropoulos, and actor Alexander Wertmann stressed the importance of a future together – especially in times of rising animosity.
Where do we stand today? Where are we headed in the future? And how well do we know each other? These are all questions that the prominent guests touched on in their addresses: #2021JLID Year of Celebration patron, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier; NRW Minister President Armin Laschet; President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dr. Josef Schuster; and Chair of the Synagogue Community of Cologne, Abraham Lehrer.
Cologne’s mayor, Henriette Reker, gave a tour of the historical Jewish district currently under excavation as an archaeological site; the new Jewish Museum of Cologne will stand on the location. The opening ceremony was hosted by Berlin journalist Shelly Kupferberg.DIE BEAUFTRAGTE DER BUNDESREGIERUNG FÜR KULTUR UND MEDIEN