Hummus in Prenzlauer Berg
Israeli travelers and emigrants are flocking to Berlin to experience its dynamic and unexpected Jewish presence.December 16th, 2014
For Berlin this year has been about remembrance. About looking back at the fall of the Berlin Wall and reflecting on the ideology that divided a people for four-and-a-half decades. But for Israeli tourists and emigrants it may be more interesting to look to the future.
Berlin has experienced a recent influx of Israelis to the city. Leading to a smorgasbord of hummus and joints and the beginning of a new Jewish community in the city. The sudden prevalence of spoken Hebrew and the aforementioned hummus joints, demonstrates the Israelis’ cultural influence. Particularly, given both Tel Aviv and Berlin have two of the hottest and most famous club scenes in the world, the arrival of Tel Aviv DJs has given Berlin’s nightlife a new and exciting edge.
Hummus and dance music are only two aspects of this new presence in Berlin. Spitz, a new Hebrew-language magazine, was recently established and seeks to help Israeli emigrants; guests and tourists to Berlin gain a better understanding of German culture, politics and society. Similarly, new synagogues have emerged as well as Israeli-language social groups all over the city.
Members of the Israeli community seem to be drawn, perhaps ironically, to districts in the former East Germany. Generally however, these districts are centrally located, buzzing with life and are among the best preserved and aesthetically pleasing areas. In particular, Prenzlauer Berg and Kreuzberg are now home to many Israeli families.
The flourishing of the Jewish community in Berlin potentially represents a moral and sociological conundrum given Germany’s past. But ultimately, many members of these new communities feel that it is a joy to be a part of something new during this time of memorials and reflection. So while it is likely that there will still be arguments over which Israeli hummus joint has the best and most authentic hummus, Berlin is likely to remain a new hub for Israeli and Jewish culture.
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