German Anti-Semitism Panel Adds Jewish Members After Outcry

German Anti-Semitism Panel Adds Jewish Members After Outcry

Berlin — Two Jewish experts have been appointed belatedly to a government expert panel on anti-Semitism, after protests by Jewish groups.

Germany’s Interior Ministry that it had appointed psychologist Marina Chernivsky and historian Andreas Nachama to the panel, whose mandate is to report regularly on anti-Semitism and efforts to combat it in Germany. It also makes recommendations based on best practices, and consults with other experts. The panel was established in 2009, with rotating membership.

The office of Federal Minister of the Interior Thomas de Maizière announced the additions to the panel Wednesday.

Chernivsky is director of “Perspektivwechsel” or “Change Your Outlook,” an educational initiative against intolerance and anti-Semitism for the Frankfurt-based Central Welfare Council of Jews in Germany. Nachama, who is also an ordained rabbi, is director of “Topography of Terror,” the museum and archive about the Gestapo in Berlin, and is frequently asked to comment on current issues regarding anti-Semitism.

Last February, Jewish activists from the Berlin region – Deidre Berger, head of the American Jewish Committee; Julius Schoeps, director of the Moses Mendelssohn Center for European Jewish Studies in Potsdam; and Anetta Kahane, head of the Amadeu Antonio Foundation – blasted the government for failing to appoint Jewish experts to its commission, and announced they would establish their own expert commission in response.

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