Chancellor Angela Merkel has led a rally against anti-Semitism, telling thousands of people in Berlin that Jewish life is part of Germany's identity.

Germany's Jewish community organized Sunday's rally at the capital's Brandenburg Gate after tensions over the Gaza conflict spilled over into demonstrations in Europe that saw anti-Jewish slogans and violence.

Jewish leader Dieter Graumann said the summer saw "the worst anti-Semitic slogans on German streets for many, many decades."

Merkel said it pains her to hear of young Jewish parents asking whether they can raise their children in Germany or older people asking whether it was right to stay.

She said: "We want Jews to feel safe in Germany. They should feel that this country is our common home."