The writing, editing, and proofreading are done. The hand-wringing, fretting, and kvetching are almost behind me. My co-authors, a sundry mix of descendants of German Jews spanning generations and continents, have stuck with me on an uphill path that slowly twisted towards its final destination. Together we have produced a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Our book, A Place They Called Home, is scheduled for release on December 1st and can now be pre-ordered on Amazon.
So what’s next? Maybe not much for a while. But I can’t help thinking that it’s important to build on whatever momentum comes from my stubborn pursuit to broaden the narrative of the post-Holocaust Jewish experience with Germany. I’ve tried to bring new voices to this narrative, hoping to have a modest impact on public perceptions and opinion. Few Jewish opinion leaders in the U.S. or Germany today represent my views. That’s why I’ll continue to voice my perspective, whether through writing, public speaking, or even political action.
I’m toying with the idea of creating a speakers bureau to bring a diversity of Jewish voices into German schools and communities. I’ll try to also contribute and promote more positive news coverage of Germany’s Jewish population, like the recent reports on a community initiative to rebuild the Fraenkelufetr synagogue in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district, an area with a large immigrant population. And there’s no question we need more interfaith projects and initiatives. German Jews, with our history of loss and displacement, are uniquely positioned to support migrants and refugees who’ve come to Germany after fleeing their homelands.
I contemplated my next steps over a family birthday dinner on the sidewalk patio of one of my favorite restaurants this week. As you can see, Avery and Sam were very enthusiastic about whatever project I decide to launch or join next. They’re used to hearing about all my latest plans and ideas. And they’re a pretty good cheerleading squad too. My greatest hope is that my book, this blog (which is nearing its end), and next endeavors will leave a valuable legacy for my children.