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Educational Elements on Anti-Semitism

The Issue

For a long time, anti-Semitism was only perceived and worked on in the context of the history of national socialism, as a part of right-wing orientations or as a form of racism as well in the public consciousness as in the political educational work. However, anti-Semitism is much more than "only" having prejudices against Jewish people. It serves as a comprehensive explanation for misunderstood social phenomena, crises and deep-rooted changes in society, which are above all interpreted by means of conspiracy theories and traditional images of "the Jew". Therefore anti-Jewish stereotypes are reproduced, Jewish people are seen as a "decent collective" which is blamed for social changes that are perceived as frightening. On the international-political level, Israel is blamed for threatening the peace of the world and for producing global danger. Jews in Israel and all over the world are made responsible for the politics of the Israeli government.

The Project

The project "Educational Elements on Anti-Semitism" exists since 2002. The cooperation project between the two educational bodies Bildungsteam Berlin-Brandenburg e.V und Tacheles Reden! e.V. is located in Kreuzberg, an area in the middle of Berlin. Its aim is to develop, to examine and to publish methods, concepts and material for the (especially non-school related) education on anti-Semitism. The governmental funding programme entimon was supporting the project financially for three years. Though the seminars and trainings we offer are advertised nationwide, the work centres on cooperations and partnerships mainly with organisations in Berlin and Brandenburg. With this work, we try to fill a gap in the landscape of political education by taking anti-Semitism on the educational agenda. On the basis of continious evaluation of our seminars and methods there will be pedagogical material available in the autumn of 2006, which can be of help for all pedagogical qualified personnel as well as for interested multipliers working with youth and adults.

Seminars and trainings

The project team offers seminars for pupils, youth groups and trainees as well as trainings for multipliers or teachers. We offer half-day workshops, one-to-three-day seminars and weekly workshops hold in special locations of education. Due to different methods and materials the participants are sensitised for all forms of anti-Semitism. In all trainings special emphasis is given to actual forms of anti-Semitism. Our concepts of the trainings and seminars take into consideration the state of knowledge and the needs of the participants. In addition to that we develop strategies of action against anti-Semitism and other forms of anti-democratic ideologies and practices.

Issues and methods

The issues of the seminars and trainings are manifold, but focus on the sensitisation to anti-Semitism and the question "What is anti-Semitism today?". We follow a historical approach and address topics as Christian antijudaism, modern anti-Semitism, National Socialism and Holocaust, the so called "secondary anti-Semitism" (which exists particulary in Germany and contains the defence against the remembrance of the Holocaust) or identities and stereotypes. In another unit, the participants can deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which often serves as a field of (anti-Semitic) projection. A variety of different methods helps us clarifying the origins, forms and functions of anti-Semitism. For example, exercises work on the function of conspiracy theories and its implications on anti-Semitism. Others examine the role of mass media in providing anti-Semitic stereotypes. We watch and discuss films, and we work with biographical and also self-reflexive elements. Other methods we use are theatre, role plays and experimental games, discussions, excursions to museums and historical sites, city walking tours, street interviews and many more.

Aims

Among the sensitisation for all forms of anti-Semitism as an important objective, further aims of the project€™s work are:

  • Consciousness-raising for anti-Semitic stereotypes, for the mechanism and the functions of anti-Semitism
  • Working out the long-lasting history of anti-Judaism & anti-Semitism with its continuity and its breaks
  • Self-reflection on one's own thinking and behaviour
  • Encouraging activities against anti-Semitism
  • Making Jewish life visible and welcoming diversity

For pedagogues furthermore:

  • Getting to know methods and practical exercises that are helpful to confront anti-Semitism
  • Deepening and broadening the own pedagogical practise and experience

You are interested in our work?

You want to get to know more about the project? You like to book one of our seminars or trainings?

Then you are warmly invited to CONTACT US - we are looking forward to hear from you!

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