Photo taken in:BrnoYear when photo was taken:2005Country name at time of photo:Czech RepublicCountry name today:Czech RepublicName of the photographer / studio:Zuzana Strouhova
This is a photograph of me Petr Weber, at the Jewish community in Brno in 2005.
Another fundamental change that the revolution brought, this time as far as being Jewish is concerned, was that I was pulled into being a functionary and later also elected president of the community in Brno. I myself would never have thought, not even in my wildest dreams, that something like that could happen. I was of course always in contact with the Brno Jewish community here, but as a regular member, more on the passive side. Well, and back then the head cantor, still alive at the time, the recently deceased Mr. Arnost Neufeld, approached new, until then "unused" functionary cadres, and so invited me to do this work. At the complete beginning I began helping during last farewells for our members, ritual cleansing [the tahara ceremony, which is by the way one of the most honorable "mitzvot", obligations in Jewish society - Editor's note], funeral oration, and similar things. Thus I slowly "sunk in my claws" and in the end I ended up with everything.
I commenced this type of public service in 1996, and do it to this day. I didn't run directly for the post of president, according to our rules a body is elected, that means a group of functionaries called the presidium, and then it picks a president from among itself. I ran for the presidium voluntarily, and more than anything else let myself be talked into the function, there wasn't and isn't any excess of candidates, which is too bad. How did they convince me? I don't know. Objectively, though considerably immodestly put - I was probably the most suitable from the existing "portfolio". So I agreed, with a heavy heart, but agreed.