Juedische Liberale Gemeinde Koeln Gescher LaMassoret
Women and men pray together, women lead prayers just like men, a rabbi regularly leads our services: In the Jewish Liberal Community Cologne Gescher LaMassoret, we value gender equality in services – like all liberal Jewish communities in Germany. We want to live a contemporary, modern Judaism. For the community, this also means: a positive relationship with lesbians, gays and transgender people. And: We attach great importance to dialogue with other religions – especially with Christians and Muslims.
Gescher LaMassoret means: bridge to tradition. Although we want to live a modern Judaism, the Jewish literature is very important to us – for example the Torah (the Five Books of Moses), the other parts of the Jewish Bible and the Talmud. Jewish tradition and keeping up with the times: for us, they go together perfectly. Because Judaism has always placed the greatest value on education and learning. The word Talmud comes from the Hebrew word for learning. Continuing to learn is the best way to keep up with the times.
The community has existed since 1996, but there have been liberal Jews in Cologne for much longer: before the Shoa, the liberals celebrated their services in the synagogue on Roonstrasse – where today the unified community holds orthodox services.
The community wants to consolidate liberal Judaism in Cologne and beyond. Many of our members and prayers come from other places in the Rhineland. We are networked with synagogues in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany and all over the world and are a member of the liberal state association of North Rhine-Westphalia, the “Union of Progressive Jews” and the “World Union for Progressive Judaism”.
Worship services are easy to understand. Liberal Jews pray and speak numerous texts in the national language – in our case in German. We read the Torah in the original and with a translation. It is important to us not to “pray down” the texts, but to understand them as well as possible, to deal with them and, if possible, to rub against them.