Stephan Kramer resigns as Central Council of Jews in Germany head

BERLIN (JTA) — Stephan Kramer, secretary-general of the Central Council of Jews in Germany and a figure who has worked with many international Jewish leaders, has resigned his post after 15 years.

Kramer decided himself to leave the position, effective at the end of January, according to a statement released Thursday by the office of Central Council President Dieter Graumann.

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Graumann said he regretted Kramer’s decision and thanked him for “his long, outstanding and close cooperation and his contribution to the Central Council and the Jewish community in Germany.”

Kramer said in a brief statement that it had been “a profound honor” to work with a leadership and staff he described as “steadfastly dedicated to the promotion of Jewish well-being and interfaith understanding in
Germany.”

Kramer remained mum on his future plans.

In his appointed position, Kramer has been a steady presence representing Jews in Germany since 1999, instrumental in building relations with Jewish leaders worldwide. Kramer worked with former Central Council presidents Ignatz Bubis, Paul Spiegel and Charlotte Knobloch before Graumann was elected in November 2010.

His voice has consistently been sought on matters related to religious freedom, Muslim-Jewish relations, anti-Semitism and support for Israel.

In lauding Kramer, the Central Council noted that he had dealt with negotiations leading to the treaty between the Central Council and the Federal Government in 2003, with Germany’s development of an
immigration law in 2005, with the conceptual re-orientation of the work of the federal commemoration sites for victims of the Nazi regime in 2008, and with the German circumcision debate in 2012.