BERLIN, GERMANY– Nassau County Executive Laura Curran this week joined President of the North American Board of Rabbis (NABOR) Rabbi Jay Rosenbaum of Temple Israel of Lawrence, and local rabbis and NABOR members, in accepting an invitation from the Foreign Ministry of Germany and the Goethe Institute to attend the 80th commemoration of Kristallnacht in Berlin, Germany.
“Celebrating Shabbat at a Berlin synagogue on the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht was incredibly poignant and meaningful,” Curran said. “I am grateful to Rabbi Rosenbaum and NABOR for organizing this trip, which included meetings with German government officials and a talk by Chancellor Merkel. It was an honor to represent Nassau County, and to witness for our vibrant Jewish community.”
On November 9th, 1938, Kristallnacht, also known as the Night of Broken Glass, began when German Nazis initiated carefully orchestrated violence against the Jewish community throughout Germany. Kristallnacht, which means “crystal night” in German, refers to the large amount of broken glass left in the streets after these “November Pogroms.” The widespread violence continued into November 10th, 1938, and in some areas for several days more.
During her visit, County Executive Curran marched with local Jewish leaders, including Rabbi Deborah Bravo, founder and spiritual leader of MakomNY and former senior rabbi of North Shore Synagogue in Syosset, and 2,000 Berliners to a service at the Holocaust Memorial, where County Executive Curran read aloud names of Berliners who perished during the Holocaust.
The County Executive attended services at Germany's largest synagogue, Synagogue Rykestraße in East Berlin, with keynote speaker Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel.
County Executive Curran also marked the 29th anniversary of the Berlin Wall coming down, met with members of the Saxon State Parliament, and members of the American Jewish Committee’s Berlin Office, visited the Synagogue Hüttenweg in West Berlin, participated in multiple Jewish heritage tours and celebrated Shabbat.
The Goethe Institute is the cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany. County Executive Curran’s trip was supported through The Visitors Programme of the Federal Republic of Germany, which organizes trips for foreign leaders to experience Germany first-hand, with an emphasis on discussions of common interest and global issues. The trip was at no cost to the taxpayer.