Amid pandemic, Halle Jews forced out of synagogue again year after attack

The coronavirus, not the attempted Yom Kippur attack by a gunman nearly a year ago, will keep the Jewish community of Halle, Germany, out of its synagogue for the High Holidays in 2020.

The congregation will worship at a larger municipal space that’s more suitable for social distancing.

“We are not happy about this, we’d rather be in our synagogue, but this is the most practical solution,” the chairman of the community, Max Privorozki, said.

The synagogue was full to its capacity of about 100 last October when a white supremacist gunman tried to blast open the building’s armored door on Yom Kippur. He is standing trial for the murder of two people near the synagogue after failing to enter. The gunman filled the killings.

Members of Halle’s Jewish community of about 500 people were “looking forward to spending Yom Kippur and the High Holidays in the synagogue,” Privorozki said.

“Trauma is not an issue – we come there every Shabbat,” he added.

But under the emergency measures for social distancing due to the coronavirus, the building can now only accommodate 19 people.

“I’m not going to choose for my congregants can come to synagogue, so it’s either we move to a new space or we have no space,” Privorozki said.

The community has moved its Torah scroll to the alternative venue, which normally has a capacity of 400 but can now accommodate only 80 people.

Police, who were criticized for not providing security to the synagogue last year, will guard both of the municipal building’s entrance points, Privorozki said.


Subscribe to EJC newsletter

Get EJC's bi-weekly newsletter, including the latest statements and news from the European Jewish communities, direct to your inbox.

European Jewish Congress will use the information you provide on this form to contact you. We will treat your information with respect and will not share it with others. By clicking Subscribe, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.


Five Jews who made a splash in Israel in 5780

The European Jewish Congress is proud and honoured to announce that Dr. Moshe Kantor has been recognised as one of five Jewish leaders who shaped the year 5780 by the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth and warmly congratulates him for this outstanding recognition.

Major Jewish organizations launch unified position on tackling antisemitism online

The European Jewish Congress, along with major Jewish organizations working with the EU institutions, has launched a unified position on tackling antisemitism online, in response to the Digital Services Act consultation by the European Commission.

EJC President calls on the Portuguese Parliament not to harm the Sephardi citizenship law

EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor has written to the President of the Portuguese Parliament calling on him to ensure that a law passed in 2013 which provides Sephardi Jews with the possibility to apply for Portuguese citizenship is not harmed by recent attempts to pass amendments which would damage the applicability, intention and spirit of the original law.

Antisemitic chants at anti-racist march in Paris shows how worthy cause is being hijacked to spread hate

EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor called on anti-racist marchers and organisers to ensure that antisemitism is not being adopted by some within their ranks, after large groups of marchers at a rally in Paris's Place de la République shouted antisemitic slogans like “dirty Jew”.