Our guide Tal sent interesting news from the wonderful city of Cologne:
Archaological Zone Cologne
Located right in the city center and covered by a gigantic tent, the archeological zone has over 100 scientists and technicians unearthing artefacts that date back to 800 C.E.. It is believed that there are even older artefacts deeper down. Many interesting finds continue to be made, although the results have not yet been made available for public viewing. The dig is scheduled to continue until 2012-2013. The genisa (storeroom for worn out Jewish texts, usually in a synagogue or a cemetery) which was razed in the 1950’s is being restored to its pre-war state.
Tours: On Fridays at 14:00 upon registration with the city
Learn more at http://www.museenkoeln.de/archaeologische-zone/
News about the New and Old Mikvaot
There is a new mikveh in the Synagoge at Roonstrasse 50 that is like a five star hotel spa experience with a built-in filter and rainwater. There are three women who volunteer to escort women visiting the mikveh. Archeologists are digging up the area where the old mikveh in Cologne was located. There are plans for an archeoloical museum including Jewish themes to be built, because there wasn’t enough money to make an exclusively Jewish museum. The old mikveh can be visited by appointment only.
Over 500 young people attended the eagerly awaited annual event on February 20 at the Kölnmesse. Berlin came with the largest contingent and won the contest. 60 years after the war this is the high point of cooperation between youth groups throughout Germany who are organized under the umbrella of the Central Council of Jews.
The participating groups had made videos about their city and community before the event, and they were shown on a large screen to the whole group.
Oliver Pollak, Author of “Ich darf das, ich bin Jude” („I’m allowed to do that, I’m Jewish“), was featured as well as other Jewish comedians, dancers and entertainers. The event was well organized and executed and a huge success.