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Anti-Semitism in schools - Lecture and panel discussion

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  • 150 followed the invitation of »school is open« 4.0 to the lecture "Current findings on anti-Semitism in schools" followed by a podium discussion on 14 May 2019 (CC-BY 4.0, »school is open« 4.0)
  • Prof ' Dr.' Susanne Zank (right), Dean of the Faculty of Human Sciences, welcomes the Governing Councilor Achim Eckstein (left) from the district government of Cologne. In the middle panel member Myrle Dziak-Mahler (CC-BY 4.0, »school is open« 4.0)
  • Prof.' Dr.' Julia Bernstein reported on anti-Semitic incidents and gave those affected a voice (CC-BY 4.0, »school is open« 4.0)
  • Joachim Frank (Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger) moderated the panel discussion with Myrle Dziak-Mahler (ZfL Cologne), Sophie Brüss (SABRA Düsseldorf) Nina Laube (Extremism Prevention, LASP) and Prof. 'Dr.' Julia Bernstein (FH Frankfurt) about it How structurally an anti-Semitism-free school room can be designed (v.l.n.r. CC-BY 4.0, »school is open« 4.0)
  • Lecture "Current Findings on Anti-Semitism in Schools" followed by a podium discussion on May 14, 2019 at the Faculty of Humanities within the framework of the project "100 Years of Alija von Alumni of the University of Cologne | Stories of Immigration to Cologne" by »school is open« 4.0

In front of more than 150 visitors, Prof. 'Dr.' Julia Bernstein, Alumna of the University of Cologne, reported on anti-Semitism from the perspective of those affected as part of the diversity week "You make the difference". With impressive and pointed narratives from her research, she made visible the hatred and violence that are brought to those affected. The Israeli sociologist thus gave a voice to those affected and made them think.

Above all, the brutality of anti-Semitic utterances is countered by Bernstein's critical reflection on language and stereotyping. Teachers need to be made more aware. She also complained about the lack of protection of those affected by schools and teachers.

In the ensuing podium discussion, moderated by Joachim Frank (chief correspondent DuMont, editor-in-chief Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger), Myrle Dziak-Mahler (managing director of the Center for Teacher Education Cologne) demanded consistent and clear positioning of schools and teachers against hatred, violence, sexism, anti-Semitism and racism. Nina Laube supplemented the concrete measures from the point of view of the school psychology and school psychological crisis management, for example, anti-discrimination measures, such as contact persons and school rules even before it comes to an anti-Semitic violation of Jewish students. As a further building block of school inclusion, Sophie Brüsss (consultant at SABRA - Service Center for Anti-discrimination Advice on Racism and Anti-Semitism, Düsseldorf) demanded that Jewish students' desire to show and live a Jewish identity be met: "Often, however, teachers do not realize that sitting in front of you Jewish students."

The feedback from the audience was diverse, moving experiences of Jewish visitors through stigmatization and exclusion, which even decades later still hurt and unsettle, but also current examples. A grandmother reported that her granddaughter came home from school with grief: the mother of a classmate had forbidden the children's contact. Reason: she should not play with Jews. One of the many teachers present criticized that teachers were not taught the competences to enforce values ​​and protection from violence for all.

The Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger reported:

Further findings from Bernstein's research can be found in the short report on research, which is freely available online:

For the ZfL Merle Hettesheimer led in advance an interview with Bernstein: "Do not be so Israeli"

»School is open« 4.0 is involved with various formats for educational work against Israeli anti-Semitism. Under the guiding principle of "Discover Inclusion and Diversity", students will discover diversity in Israel. "School is open" has already traveled with students to Israel, is currently working together with students on digital learning materials against anti-Semitism in the learning workshop "Education in the Middle East Conflict" and documents the stories of Cologne alumni in the project "100 Years of Alumni of the University of Cologne" Cologne and Israel. The aim of the project is, in particular, to show teachers and teachers perspectives that enable decisive action against anti-Semitism and an appreciation of diversity, including Jewish contexts in Germany. Because anti-Semitism still takes place in Germany, even in schools. The project is under the patronage of the Federal Government Commissioner for Jewish Life and the fight against anti-Semitism, Dr. Ing. Felix Klein.