Your Story Moves I! German-Israeli Youth Exchange – Encounter of Young People in Migration Societies

Exchange program for young educators organized by ConAct and the Israel Youth Exchange Authority as part of the project „Living Diversity in Germany and Israel“ in cooperation with the Multicultural Forum (Multikulturelles Forum e.V.) and the Hebrew Scouts Movement

© ConAct/Ruthe Zuntz

Young people in Germany and Israel have diverse cultural, religious and national identities. Many of them come from families with a history of migration. They have often experienced immigration to Israel or Germany themselves. Over the past ten years, this has also become tangible and visible in youth exchanges: the youth groups are becoming increasingly diverse.

How do we further develop the German-Israeli youth exchange in order to live up to this reality? How can we value the diversity of personal and collective narratives while taking into account the historically significant connection to National Socialism and to the Shoah? Which migration (hi)stories can young people and their families tell nowadays? During the exchange project “Your Story Moves I! German-Israeli Youth Exchange – Encounters of Young People in Migration Societies” young educators are going to discuss these questions focusing on diversity-conscious and discrimination-sensitive educational work and future perspectives for the German-Israeli discourse, while discovering both countries as (im)migration societies.

Our first project and a first bilateral encounter with young adults from the partner organization Multicultural Forum in Germany and the Hebrew Scouts Movement in Israel will take place at the beginning of October 2018 in Israel, followed by a return visit in the spring of 2019.

 

Further exchange projects on diversity, migration and their stories in the German-Israeli context of education and exchange are being prepared in cooperation with partners from Germany and Israel.

Meet Our Cooperation Partners

The Multicultural Forum (Multikulturelles Forum e.V.) is a migrant organization with expertise in the fields of political education, prevention, intercultural and interreligious dialogue, migrants and refugee counseling, employment, qualification and further education. Since 1985 the organization has been committed to promoting and supporting migrants’ professional, social and political participation and contributing to the concept of Germany as a diverse migration society.

The Multicultural Forum has a long history of international cooperation; contacts with partner organizations have been established in nearly all European countries from Sweden to Turkey, from Spain to Lithuania. In its work with young people, the Multicultural Forum addresses the topics of diverse identities and narratives, democracy education, Holocaust education, anti-Semitism and religious radicalization. In projects on anti-Semitism for instance, young people look critically at German, Turkish and Arabic media to understand its influence and to identify modern forms of anti-Semitism. Participants consider information sources, choices of words and visuals, and the media’s effect on their opinion. It is important to understand how the media can create risks and opportunities at the same time. Participants are empowered to form their own bias-free and anti-Semitism-sensitive media products. The project also organizes site visits to places like synagogues and Holocaust memorials. Multicultural Forum also provides individual and pedagogical support for young people who have taken first steps in religious radical groups. Its main pedagogical approach within this work is empowerment. Intercultural social workers help youngsters to be able to provide them with certain skills and/or resources that will enable them to be independent or stand on their own.

More information: www.multikulti-forum.de, www.facebook.com/MultikulturellesForum


The Hebrew Scouts Movement in Israel (Tnoat HaTzofim HaIvriiem BeYisrael) is an Israeli Jewish co-ed Scouting and Guiding association with about 80,000 members and even more graduates. Established in 1919, the Hebrew Scouts Movement was the first Zionist youth movement in Israel and remains today the largest “National Youth Movement” in the country. Tzofim is famously known as the first egalitarian scouting movement in the world, where boys and girls participate together on an equal basis.

The Tzofim aim to provide the necessary tools to achieve one’s goals and want to ensure that their scouts flourish in a quality environment, while acquiring the leadership skills needed to grow into dynamic adults who will lead and initiate positive change. Children and youth from all over Israel engage in a variety of social activities to guide their personal development and which will provide them with recreation and fun. By teaching Jewish values and Zionism, their goal is to build an Israeli society that is Zionist, ethical and activist and that will benefit and satisfy all its citizens. Tzofim members, children and teenagers organized in 200 “tribes”, reflect and represent the country’s great diversity: they come from Israel’s center and its periphery, they are native-born and immigrants, secular and religious, and they include young people with special needs (physically and developmentally challenged) and youth at risk.

Whether it be emphasizing the integration of unique sectors of the population, empowering and integrating immigrants into society, or strengthening Jewish and Israeli identity in Israel as well as in the Diaspora, Tzofim’s main goal is to ensure that as many young people as possible are reached, so as to build a better tomorrow, today.

More information: www.zofim.org.il

 

The project “Living Diversity in Germany and Israel – Challenges and Perspectives for Education and Youth Exchange” 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!