Hannes Richter

Jewish Welcome Service Vienna

Hannes Richter

The Jewish Welcome Service (JWS) recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. Since its founding in 1980, the JWS has conducted a program for inviting Austrians expelled in 1938 for a return visit to the city where they and their families once lived. Through the work of one of the founders and current director, Dr. Leon Zelman, some 4,000 Austrian Jews (including Rabbi Lapp - see this issue), have participated in the program.

The JWS also assists visitors when tracing their family history, helps in establishing contact with authorities dealing with questions of restitution and promotes youth exchange programs between Israel, the USA and Austria.

Its publication, “Jewish Vienna - Heritage and Mission” serves to inform people internationally of Austria’s lively Jewish community after the Shoa. This brochure depicts Jewish history in Vienna from the Middle Ages to the Present and includes a city map explaining geographical locations such as the City Temple, Epstein Palace, etc. It also contains an extensive overview of numerous Jewish organizations, museums and restaurants. It is written in German and English and can be ordered free of charge: Tel. (+43 1) 277 55, or on the internet (online version currently in German only) at: https://www.wien.gv.at/formulare/pid/bestellen