German-Israeli exchange programme
Encounter – Remember – Pass on – Shape the future
These are the four main contents that shape and characterize the project “witness of the witnesses”. We thereby experience that the encounters with the last generation of Holocaust survivors and their children and grandchildren are a central element. The young generation thus gains an insight into the importance of the active remembrance of the Holocaust and the significance of the State of Israel. We have mainly enabled these encounters in Germany in the past three years. In September 2016, together with our cooperating partners, we conducted an exchange for young adults that will take place in Israel.
In our team, we live German-Israeli relation very practically in exchange with our Jewish and Arabic team members from Israel.
One Holocaust survivor from Germany has grandchildren living in Germany and Israel. We were privileged to meet them and record their story. Last year, we were able to meet her granddaughter, who is currently doing her military service, in Frankfurt. It was very moving for us to hear the perspectives of the young woman and her grandmother.
Our volunteers thereby realized, how early young people in Israel have to assume responsibility for their country. It touched us to learn about the joy, sorrows, and needs of this grandmother in Germany and the granddaughter in Israel. “Witness of the witnesses” is not about abstract knowledge. We want to encourage and enable "encounters of heart“.
After the pilot period, we want to scale up this concept to other cities and regions in which we are active.
Apart from Kiryat Motzkin and Hof, Haifa and Bonn took part in the program so far.
Our goals thereby are that:
- participants become multipliers and "ambassadors of heart“, who strengthen German-Israeli relations
- new and joint projects for the future develop from the encounters and those friendships will be strengthened
- young people in Germany gain a realistic picture of Germany
- have the opportunity to meet people directly on-site and immerse into their reality of life
- we encourage other educational institutions (i.e. schools, associations, institutions etc.) to conduct German-Israeli exchange programmes themselves