The project “Living Diversity in Germany and Israel” aims at developing a German-Israeli educational network of organizations and professionals who wish to actively deepen the consciousness of democratic values in youth work and exchange projects. The project aims to increase the awareness of the existing diversity – such as in cultural, religious and sexual orientation, ethnic and social belonging and physical and mental abilities – in both countries. Moreover it highlights the wish to foster and intensify the decades-long German-Israeli cooperation in the field of exchanges and youth work. Democratic and civic education as well as living in social and cultural pluralism are already common subjects and concerns in Germany and Israel. Given the complex and difficult history of National Socialism and its aftermath for both societies to the present day, they are mutual and powerful elements for a truthful and fruitful cooperation between German and Israeli organizations.

For implementing a German-Israeli network on diversity-education the individual experiences of participants and contributors, as well as today’s personal and collective affiliations and identities have to be taken into account. The program aims at qualifying facilitators involved for the implementation of methods to consciously broaden the lines of differentiation between individuals. Considering the German-Israeli discourse and working process, the project wants to provide opportunities and training modules to reflect upon and to advance educational strategies that counter racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia as well as other forms of exclusion and discrimination in favor of a social, cultural and equal way of working and living together.

The project described was developed by ConAct – Coordination Center German-Israeli Youth Exchange and the Israel Youth Exchange Authority in close cooperation with the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. It is conceptualized as a supportive project in the German federal program “Live Democracy!”

 Project Goals and Objectives

  • Addressing and encouraging key organizations and stakeholders of non-formal youth education from Germany (funded by the federal program “Live Democracy!” and also other youth welfare organizations) and Israel to engage in a professional discourse on diversity-conscious youth education and exchange work in Germany and Israel.
  • Appealing to German organizations and youth projects, whose target groups are young participants, as well as professionals with migrant backgrounds, which will be introduced to German-Israeli exchanges.
  • Increasingly including German and Israeli participants with diverse cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds that have not had access to this field before. At the same time, these groups’ incorporation aims at counteracting widespread reservations about Israel due to their personal links to countries that are in conflict with Israel.
  • Providing opportunities to reflect upon and to advance educational strategies that counter racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia as well as other forms of exclusion and discrimination in favor of a social, cultural and equal way of cooperation – considering German-Israeli discourse.
  • Developing new and adapting pre-existing training methods for teaching about tolerance, equality, equal rights and democratic values as well as developing and compiling specific training modules for German-Israeli educational settings and encounter programs.

Our Activities

For the latest information on our seminars, conferences and other past events please look at our Calendar of Events.

Youth exchange programs: “Your Story Moves!” are cooperation exchange projects with Israeli and German organizations since 2018, focusing on encounters of young people in migration societies. In October 2018 two different groups of young educators of organizations who themselves are engaged in discriminatory sensitive work and/or diversity-conscious education set out to discover each other’s society and life context in the frame of migration stories. The first exchange project was a cooperation between the Multicultural Forum e.V. and the Hebrew Scouts and our project. The second exchange project was a cooperation between Dialogue at School and the Israeli organization “Arab-Jewish Community Center Tel Aviv-Yafo” as well as the project “Living Diversity in Germany and Israel”. Return visits and another exchange will follow in 2019.

Professional exchange programs: Organizations actively engaged in diversity-conscious education will be granted insights into the context, theory and practice in the other country. This exchange and mutual learning shall inspire their own working practices and will provide a foundation for possible cooperative projects in the future. A first exchange took place between August 22 and 26, 2016 in Berlin. In November 2017 a second program for a professional and extensive dialogue between educational organizations and youth work facilitators was offered in Haifa, Israel.

German-Israeli conference: As a central part, this conference took place from November 14 to 16, 2016 in Lutherstadt Wittenberg. It addressed the broad spectrum of active supporters of German-Israeli exchanges and youth education. The conference aimed at raising awareness of the considered subjects by providing a bilateral, in-depth and practically relevant frame for discourse among professionals.

German-Israeli training program: A training program with modules on diversity awareness and understanding of democracy is going to be developed in 2017 and in 2018. The training program will evolve throughout the project period and will benefit from suggestions arising from other facets of the project. In November 2017 a seminar took place based on older and new methods, which are already applied in the German-Israeli youth exchange and in the international youth work. The aim was to overcome their standardization and to adapt them to the needs of the respective youth groups. The methods are furthermore aiming to make the existing diversity visible in youth exchange and to strengthen a diversity-conscious and discriminatory-critical approach in educational work. In 2018 the training program will be published as part of the practical guidebook for German-Israel Youth Exchange.

Advisory Council Meetings: A professional, bilateral advisory council has been established according to a research of partners and turning to existing German-Israeli partnerships. This body will meet four times and monitor the development of the project throughout its course. The council is composed of academic experts as well as educators from the practical field of education and youth exchange. It gives professional feedback on our events and further advise on the implementation of our project’s goals and objectives. Read more…

Inviting Organizations of the Supportive Project

ConAct – Coordination Center for German-Israeli Youth Exchange works on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, supported by the federal states of Saxony-Anhalt and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. ConAct administers the funding of German-Israeli youth exchange, supports and qualifies German-Israeli exchange partnerships and advances German-Israeli youth contacts. ConAct is formally connected to the Protestant Academy of Saxony-Anhalt in Lutherstadt Wittenberg, yet as a state institution it is not being connected to any religion. Thanks to the invitation of Lutherstadt Wittenberg, the office of ConAct is located in the historical city hall.

The Israel Youth Exchange Authority (formerly Israel Youth Exchange Council) is the coordinating office of international youth relations in Israel and respective partner organization of ConAct. It is working on behalf of the Israeli Ministry of Education and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The project “Living Diversity in Germany and Israel” is funded by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth through the German federal program “Live Democracy!” as well as through support from the Israeli Youth Exchange Authority. The project is running from 2015 to 2019.

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