Τετάρτη, 14 Οκτωβρίου 2015

Educating new immigrants to Germany about ant-Semitism ...


Dervis Hizarci is a practicing Muslim, a German citizen of Turkish origin, and a guide in Berlin’s Jewish Museum. His services aren’t available to just anyone: Hizarci’s job is to guide teenagers from the surrounding Kreuzberg neighbourhood, one of Berlin’s main migrant districts. Today, his visitors are a class of mostly Muslim students from a nearby high school.
Hizarci begins the tour with a question: How long does German-Jewish history span? For reference, he adds that Turkish-German history is about 50 years old. A student volunteers: 350 years? Hizarci tells them the answer: 2,000 years.
Next, he talks about another number: six million Jews killed in the Holocaust. To give the students a sense of scale, he adds that today there are around three million people of Turkish origin living in Germany. The teens seem surprised and moved.
Fostering these kinds of conversations is the mission of the Kreuzberg Initiative Against Anti-Semitism, whose German acronym is “Kiga.” The nonprofit fights prejudice among migrant teens, many of them Muslim. It has been awarded prizes by Germany’s Jewish Community and the Anti-Defamation League, but despite the plaudits, it remains virtually the only organisation doing this type of work in Germany.
Kiga teaches pupils about contemporary Jewish life in Germany and similarities and differences between Judaism and Islam. But it also educates them about Islamist groups and the image of Islam in German media. Its activities range from neighborhood walks tracing former Jewish life to educational trips to Israel for German Muslim youths.
Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel

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