Touring rabbi visits the SCV

As he tours the United States, German-born rabbi Yitzchak Mendel Wagner will be making a stop in Santa Clarita to give the presentation “The Jews are Back: 80 Years After Kristallnacht, Has Germany Changed?” at Chabad of SCV on Tuesday.

Wagner’s lecture will present how the Jewish community in Germany has progressed following Kristallnacht. He was the first ordained rabbi who was a native of Germany since the Holocaust, and at the time was also one of the youngest rabbis in Germany.

“We hear a lot of the negative news constantly about anti-Semitism and what it’s like being a Jew in Europe today,” said Rabbi Choni Marozov, co-director at Chabad of SCV. “It’s tough, and he focuses on Germany and how the community is growing, how extremely active they are (and) how resilient they are.”

Wagner will provide guests with a PowerPoint presentation featuring accounts and photos about how German Jews have been living and what the future looks like, Marozov said.

“It’s a Jewish attribute that we do our best to bounce back,” he added.

Also known as the “Night of Broken Glass,” Kristallnacht was one of the first violent policy implementations issued by Adolf Hitler on German Jewry, with the destruction and vandalism of Jewish schools, businesses and neighborhoods. Around 100 Jews were killed, while 30,000 were sent to concentration camps as a result of the attack, which took place on Nov. 8, 1938. Last year marked its 80th anniversary.

“What’s nice is to bring confidence to Jewish people about the bright future there is,” Marozov said. “(Wagner) will give us firsthand reports of the Jewish community that he leads. He’s been lecturing on this for quite a few years.”

Wagner’s appearance will mark one of a handful of independent lectures held at Chabad of SCV this year, Marozov said, adding a lecture focused on a Holocaust survivor is scheduled in June.

The public is welcome to attend. To RSVP, go to chabadscv.com. The price for admission in advance will cost $15, while it’ll be $18 at the door. Refreshments will be provided.

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About the author

Ryan Mancini

Ryan Mancini

Ryan Mancini covers local news for The Signal. He joined in 2018 and previously worked as a reporter and editor for The Sundial, Scene Magazine and El Nuevo Sol while enrolled as a student at California State University, Northridge, where he studied journalism and political science. He's lived in Santa Clarita since 2002.