Das Louis-Lewandowski-Festivalgehört zu Berlin!

Louis Lewandowski’s work has had a lasting influence on synagogue music and continues to inspire cantors and organists all over the world. His commitment was above all an expression of the growing integration of the German Jews, who longed for a reform of traditional worship services.

In 1933 there were more than ten synagogues in Berlin, in which the organ was an essential element of the service. As a result of the Shoah, this is different today. German Jewry has been murdered and expelled. The tradition of Lewandowski was only occasionally continued by the few who returned. Only slowly did Jewish life blossom again in Berlin. But it is still not self-evident that Jews can walk openly through the streets with Kippa. I am therefore very pleased about the thematic focus of this year’s festival: It commemorates the 80th anniversary of the pogrom night of 1938 and celebrates the 70th birthday of the State of Israel. Two memorable events that have influenced life in the city to this day. With the Louis-Lewandowski-Festival, there is now a permanent institution in the city that would also like to contribute to the normality of Jewish life.

An essential achievement of the festival is that the liturgy of Lewandowski is transported far beyond the Jewish community and that the tradition continues to be filled with life in the future. I wish the organizers and all guests a wonderful and inspiring time and good luck.

Dr. Gideon Joffe – Chairman of the Jewish Community of Berlin