Peter Feldmann is a Jewish German politician and the mayor of Frankfurt.
Feldmann (born October 7, 1958) was born into a liberal Jewish family in Germany. In 1979, Feldmann spent a year working on a kibbutz in Israel where he learned gardening and agricultural work. Upon returning to Germany, he went on to study political science at the University of Malburg, where he eventually became a class lecturer.
In 1974, Feldmann had joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany and during his university studies he was appointed as chair of the General Students Committee at Marburg. In 1988, Feldmann joined the Frankfurt city council and was elected vice president of his party's parliamentary group in 2004.
In 2007, together with Sergey Lagodinsky, Feldmann founded the Arbeitskreis jüdischer Sozialdemokratinnen und Sozialdemokraten, or AJS, a committee of Jewish members within the Social Democratic Party.
In March 2012, after incumbent Petra Roth decided to step down, Feldmann was elected as mayor of Frankfurt, beating his opponent Boris Rhein of the Christian Democratic Union by garnering more than 57% of the overall vote. When he takes office, Feldmann will be the first Jewish mayor of Frankfurt since the Holocaust when Ludwig Landmann, who was in office for nine years before the Nazis came to power in 1933, was mayor.
In an interview with Jewish-German newspaper Jüdische Allgemeine, Feldmann stated that his Jewish identity did not play any role in his campaign. "The fact that this issue did not come up in my campaign is a testament to the strength of our open and liberal city." Feldmann's campaign mostly focused on social issues such as housing, education and the fight against poverty.
Feldmann is also a strong advocate of Israel’s security and supporter of Frankfurt-Tel Aviv relations. Frankfurt is Tel Aviv’s partner city, Feldmann said, adding “Israel and Frankfurt have good contacts,” citing the “regular school exchange programs.” There will be no changes in the good relations between Frankfurt and the Jewish state, noted Feldmann. “Frankfurt and Tel Aviv have a lot in common as international cities,” said Feldmann, adding with a chuckle, “I regret that Frankfurt does not have a sea” in contrast to Tel Aviv’s beach location.
Sources: Jerusalem Post (March 27, 2012); Haaretz (March 26, 2012); Wikipedia