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CologneSummerSchool: Views on and of the Israeli society, 18.-29.04.2018

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  • Wailing Wall, Jerusalem. Section where the men pray. The section for women is further to the right (Source: Ralf Roletschek, CC-BY) Photo:The Western Wall, Jerusalem. Section where men pray. The section for women is located further to the right.(source: Ralf Roletschek, CC-BY)
  • Hall of Names, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem (Source: Israeltourism, Creative Commons 2.0)

Also this year »school is open« offers a study trip to Israel. In cooperation with the Chair of Political Science, Educational Policy and Political Education, Prof. Dr. med. Gudrun Hentges as CologneSummerSchool "Views on and of the Israeli Society" instead. From April 18 to 29, 2018, a group of students will travel to Israel and visit numerous places, institutions and people. The study tour takes place as a CologneSummerSchool and is sponsored by various other institutions (see below).

The 12 participants are in different phases of their studies. Most of them are teaching students, some of them study the MA program "Intercultural Communication and Education". The majority of students took part in an excursion to Berlin in summer 2017, in which Israeli students from the Hadassah Academic College in Jerusalem participated. The excursion was led by Prof. Gudrun Hentges (University of Cologne) and Prof. Dov Shinar (Hadassah Academic College, Jerusalem). The Israeli student group of the excursion is to be met again in Israel, among other things. to get to know individual life histories in Israel. The scientific exchange with Prof. Dov Shinar from Hadassah Academic College and Dr. med. Amira Halperin enable further, even critical perspectives.

The individual focal points as well as the planning and organization of the trip were worked out in a participatory manner with the students in the winter semester 2017/18. The journey is programmatically focused on multiperspectivity so that students can get to know Jewish life on the ground in Israel and deepen their knowledge through various stations. So we meet the NGO "Women of the Wall", which advocates gender-equitable perspectives in the Jewish religion and e.g. to dispute the use of the Wailing Wall. "Women of the Wall" is an example of the various currents within Judaism and shows the inner-religious dialogue.
The relationship between Germany as a country of perpetrators and Israel as a country of survivors and their descendants as well as a refuge for all Jews worldwide is a special one. With the CologneSummerSchool we want to contribute that new ways against forgetting and for the friendly relationship between Israel and Germany are attached. This requires that students acquire knowledge about anti-Semitic thought patterns and structures as well as recognize and reflect associated anti-democratic and anti-emancipatory worldviews.

The stay in Yad Vashem appears to us as a key element to get to know the perspective of Jews before, during and after the Shoah and to consider it in their own world view. Students will get to know the exhibition, the pedagogical concept, the site as an educational campus and current work against anti-Semitism in a 1.5-day workshop. It is also possible for us to meet the Cologne woman Fanny Englard, who survived the Shoah as a teenager and has been living in Israel since 1947. The experiences of contemporary witnesses are an important part of the culture of remembrance and provide insights into historical events.
Views on and from Israel are also related to diplomatic relations, e.g. at the political and cultural level. Diplomacy was one of the focal points of the excursion to Berlin. Also in Israel we want u.a. through the visits of the German Embassy, ​​the Goethe Institute and the Willy Brandt Center to pursue this aspect.

The journey is an international educational activity that helps students acquire increasingly relevant international and intercultural skills. The aim of the study trip is to strengthen international understanding between Germany and Israel and to support students in their personal development and professionalization. The focus of this journey is to get to know different perspectives on and from Israeli society and to deal with various narratives of the democratic state of Israel. Through the journey current experiences of Jews can be met, which allows a change of perspective. The students are to be enabled by the many disputes to develop reflection skills and a democratic and inclusive value. The different program points provide the students with experiences and learning opportunities in order to be able to act competently in the classroom as well as in anti-Semitic incidents. Anti-Semitism is becoming increasingly visible in society as a whole, whether from the right, left or center of society and Islamist or Israeli anti-Semitism. These different facets can also be found in schools, where teachers are still under-prepared to actively counter anti-Semitism.

Die CologneSummerSchool „Views on and of the Israeli Society“ bietet Anknüpfungspunkte für die weitere Arbeit von »school is open« und der Professur für Politikwissenschaft, Bildungspolitik und politische Bildung. Wir wollen die Reise nutzen um die Kooperation und den Austausch mit Yad Vashem zu vertiefen. Zukünftige Reisen werden noch stärker in Zusammenarbeit mit der internationalen Gedenkstätte der Jüdinnen und Juden an die Shoah gestaltet.