IN THIS CHAPTER I present a case study of the Jewish High School in Berlin— the only Jewish secondary school in contemporary Germany. My focus is on the re-establishment of this school in 1993 and the associated hopes of the religious Community, on the one hand, and the religious selfunderstanding and expectations of the pupils regarding religious education, on the other.
I begin by setting out current developments in the Jewish educational System in Germany and the hopes that Jewish parents and religious communities have of it. I then give an account of the re-establishment of the Berlin Jewish High School and its Jewish profile. This makes it possible to understand the unique composition of the Student body in its religious, cultural, and social heterogeneity. I then present quantitative data that provide an insight into the religious self-understanding of the young Jews in the school: how they think of themselves as Jews in Germany, what is associated with this self-understanding, and what religious behaviour arises from it. The analysis focuses on the similarities and differences between young Jewish people from German and Soviet backgrounds. This focus is chosen because of the mix of expectations and anxieties within the Jewish Community associated with immigration from the former Soviet Union (FSU). I then move on to a qualitative analysis of the expectations and desires of the pupils in relation to their religious education.
In the final section I discuss what, realistically, might be the outcomes of an approach to Jewish religious education that embraces a Student Community so diverse in religious, cultural, and social terms.
Developments in the German Jewish Community's Educational System
Since the beginning of the early 1990s Jewish life in Germany has been revitalized. As a result of immigration of Jews from the states of the FSU, the Jewish Community in Germany has quadrupled from 30,000 to 120,000 individuals and the age structure has become younger. This revival has been most apparent in the establishment of Jewish educational institutions, both new foundations and re-establishments, since the mid- 1990s. In 1993 the first Jewish high school to operate since the Second World War began to offer classes. The first Jewish primary school in North Rhine-Westphalia was also opened in 1993, in Düsseldorf.