For the first time in 100 years and 76 years after the Holocaust ended, the German Army will appoint a chief rabbi and other rabbis to its military rabbinate.
Rabbi Mordechai Eliezer (Zsolt) Balla’s appointment ceremony will take place in Leipzig in three weeks’ time, various reports said this week. At least ten other rabbis will also be appointed to various positions in the German army, the reports said.
“It is a great responsibility. We need to help all Jews live a Jewish life, if they are looking for Kosher food, if they are looking for the opportunity to pray,” Balla told the Kan public broadcaster on Thursday.
Germany reportedly budgeted 5 million euros to establish the army’s new chief military rabbinate.
The German army does not document the religious affiliations of its members. But according to estimates, about 300 Jews, 1,400 Muslims and 94,000 Christians are in the Bundeswehr armed forces, German media reported.