After delays because of the pandemic, the Conference of European Rabbis is finally gathering together in Munich, Germany.

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, President of the Conference of European Rabbis, tells Israel National News that they are happy to finally be together.

“We’re very happy. More than 350 rabbis got together from all over Europe and also from some other countries to meet and I saw to what extent that we’re happy to meet each other,” Rabbi Goldschmidt says.

How did COVID affect the Jewish communities in Europe?

“It affected unfortunately the community very much with more than 5,000 people who died from our community in Europe. We lost 19 rabbis and many communities got poorer and got smaller. We have now to work on a reset,” he says.

Commenting on the increase in antisemitic in Europe, he points out that it is being felt in every sector.

“You’re feeling it all over. We have been feeling it in terms of attacks against individuals but also attacks against our religious freedom, against circumcision and kosher slaughter,” he says. “It has to be fought on a daily basis.”

Speaking about the role of a rabbi in today’s Europe, he says: “It is to build, to teach, to inspire, and to protect.”

He adds that the job of a European rabbi also involves being a representative of the community to the authorities and the government.