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Approach

In the KIgA, committed people of various backgrounds come together—having grown up in families that are East or West German, Turkish or Arabic, influenced by Christian, Moslem, or Jewish cultural traditions and nonetheless secular in their self-conception. Together, they are grappling with old and new manifestations of anti-Semitism—what motivates it, and how it functions. Most of our staff have been dealing with these issues for quite some time. Their diverse backgrounds, providing perspectives from pedagogical, socio-pedagogical, historical, political, Islamic, and media studies, are all integrated into our work.

The heterogeneous backgrounds represented in our KIgA team reflect the reality of a society shaped by migration; in turn, they shape the foundational principle of our pedagogical praxis. For that reason, a heightened sensitivity towards racism and Islamophobia is part of our work against anti-Semitism. We highlight pedagogical alternatives based on an educational approach that is antiracist, participatory, and sensitive to migration, focusing on active collaboration, cooperative learning, empathetic ability, the changing of perspectives, and a readiness to act.

In the field of anti-Semitism, we are developing new pedagogical approaches devoted to contemporary challenges. Traditional anti-racist approaches, as well as those from so-called “Holocaust Education,” do not entirely do justice to the substantive particularities, reference points, and functions of anti-Semitic positions in their current form. This is why we have deemed it necessary to create our own pedagogy against anti-Semitism, one that would elaborate the themes, frames of reference, and links between anti-Semitic thought and action in a specific way.

On this basis, we are developing pedagogical concepts for use in schools and after-school learning facilities, to be field-tested in the Berlin districts of Kreuzberg and Neukölln. At the same time, we are focused on the exemplary nature of these educational ideas for other districts and for cities with similar problematic areas. Another emphasis of our work is exchange projects, in which youth from Germany and Israel encounter one another in a context of mutual respect and equitable dialog.

The primary audiences for our work are young people and educators from schools and youth centers. The pedagogical work with Arabic, Turkish, and Moslem youth stands in the foreground. In developing educational concepts, it is important for us to continually analyze and take into proper account the day-to-day realities and attitudes of youth influenced by Islam.