German Jewish leader warns against wearing kippa in Muslim neighborhoods

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — A Jewish leader in Germany advised Jews not to wear yarmulkes in neighborhoods with large Muslim populations.

Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, on Thursday in an interview with Berlin-based radio station rbb Inforadio recommended wearing a hat instead.

“The question is whether, in areas with a large proportion of Muslims, it is sensible to be recognized as a Jew by wearing a kippa or if it isn’t better to wear some other form of head covering,” he said.

“That is a development that I didn’t expect five years ago and is a little alarming,” he added.

Schuster clarified that he did not believe that Jews in Germany should hide out of fear. He also said that most Jewish institutions in Germany are well protected.

Former president of the council, Charlotte Knobloch, had advised German Jews not to make themselves conspicuous as Jews in public.