Toby Axelrod writes about ceremonies held recently at the Roonstrasse Synagogue in Cologne where four Orthodox Rabbinical students, graduates of the traditional Orthodox Rabbinerseminar zu Berlin were ordained, with Rabbi Chanoch Ehrentreu of England officiating. In all, eight graduates of the 3-year-old seminary -- the successor to Berlin's original Hildesheimer Rabbinical Seminary -- have now received their ordination, or smicha, including two in 2009 in Munich and two in 2010 in Leipzig.
The demand for increased Jewish education reflects the tremendous growth of the Jewish population in Germany since 1990. Some 200,000 people with Jewish backgrounds arrived in the past two decades from the former Soviet Union, pushing the number in Germany to about 240,000.
Jewish education has been slow to catch up, particularly at the elementary and high school levels. But rabbinical training took off, at both the Liberal Abraham Geiger College in Potsdam and the Orthodox Rabbinerseminar. Chabad in Berlin also offers supplemental training to rabbinical students at its Yeshiva Gedola.
See the entire article at JTA.