Sunday, September 19, 2010

Jewish Center in Lund May Close

Due to lack of funding the Jewish community in Lund (located very near Malmö) might have to shut down all of its activities by the end of the year. The downturn for the community most probably began in 2004, when Lund’s Jewish Center decided to separate from the Malmö Jewish community. The split was largely due to differences in religious practices, but has now contributed to the center’s economic crisis.
Due to the lack of funding the center has no longer been able to bring lecturers or hold seminars, which in turn have brought in less revenue. Today the community can’t even afford to pay the rent for its facilities in central Lund. Making the situation even worse, the center doesn’t even receive any sort of government funding for cultural activities, but Janine Sages, member of the Lund Jewish Community, hopes that the municipality in Lund will agree to give cultural funds to the center for teaching and studying Yiddish.

The downturn in interest and membership in the small community clearly shows the trend of a decreasing population of Jewish inhabitants in southern Sweden. Also in nearby Malmö the Jewish community membership has decreased dramatically, causing the Malmö Jewish community financial problems.

The current climate of increasing security threats directed at the Jewish communities in Sweden, such as in Malmö, is accompanied by a decreasing ability to afford the security arrangements necessary. This is only logical as increasingly smaller communities must shoulder the burden of increasing security costs. Therefore, it remains to be seen what the future holds for Jewish life in Sweden.

Below is the original article from the local daily Skånskan (the article is not available online)

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