Liberal Jewish Congregation Cologne
Gescher LaMassoret e.V.
 

The Liberal Jewish Congregation, Gescher LaMassoret e.V. (registered association), was founded in Cologne in March of 1996.
The name chosen for our congregation, Gescher LaMassoret, "Bridge to Tradition" , was planned from its inception.

Aside from seeking to attract members who
come from liberal (reform, conservative and reconstructionist) Jewish families or those who do not feel at home in Orthodox Congregations, Gescher LaMassoret also places great value on creating an atmosphere in which people, who for one reason or another are not familiar with Jewish traditions, can find a "way home."

At the time of its foundation, the congregation immediately began work on the necessary infrastructure. A prayer book for Friday evenings was developed, which was based on a traditional service with modern translations and additions from various progressive prayer books.

Regular services on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings followed by Kiddush quickly became the focal point of the congregation. Over time the community has taken on all religious functions from observing holiday services, celebrating Jewish festivals and developing religious and Hebrew instruction for children and adults in addition to our Bar and Bar Mitzvah preparatory courses.

Further milestones have been the consecration of the "New Jewish Cemetery of Cologne," the engagement of Rabbi Rothschild as our supervising rabbi and the move to our own space in Cologne-Riehl. A major highlight in our development was the acquisition of our own Torah, financed exclusively by our members.

Some people who have lived their entire lives as Jews, some with Jewish fathers, whose attempts at conversion with the existing congregations were unsuccessful, have now been prepared for conversion under the supervision of the European Bet Din, of the World Union of Progressive Jews, the world's largest Jewish religious organization.

The liberal Jewish congregation of Cologne is committed full scale to a Progressive Jewish outlook. We strive to uphold tradition but also realize the necessity of continuously reinterpreting the meaning and observances of our religion, as we have learned from the founders of liberal Judaism. Therefore we are guided by the discussions of progressive rabbis from around the globe, as can been seen in our guiding principles.

We, the congregation Gescher LaMassoret are fully dedicated to encouraging the further development of Liberal Judaism in Cologne. Due to our active involvement in the Union of Progressive Jews in Germany and the World Union of Progressive Jews together with our continuing negotiations with the Central Council of Jews in Germany and the Orthodox Community in Cologne we have the support necessary to carry on with our work and look forward to seeing what the future will bring us.