Political Café: Can entrepreneurship be a means of empowerment for Bedouin women – May 2, 2019

On the 2nd of May, the Willy Brandt Center hosted a Political Café with Jamal Al Kirnawi, founder and executive director of “A New Dawn in the Negev” and friends of Al Bustan community center, Jabal al Jahalin.

This evening was dedicated to the struggles of Bedouin women – a subject which is rarely discussed, even though Bedouin women play a key role in the conflict and in the peace building process.

The displacement and forced urbanization of Bedouin communities in the Negev/ Naqab and the West Bank have deprived Bedouin women of their traditional economic roles. Jamal offered us insights regarding his work with Bedouin women, and explained what structural challenges these women are facing in entering the labour market. Jamal mentioned that one major issue is the disparity in education, resulting from a weak educational infrastructure: fewer than 30% of Bedouin students earn a full high-school diploma, and when it comes to women students, the statistics are even lower.

Apart from that, Bedouin women face many other infrastructural problems. For example, when promoting their businesses on social media, these women must struggle to obtain a stable and affordable internet connection.

During the event we also fundraised for the Al Bustan community center, and sold embroidery made by the women of the Jahalin community – a project which has been supported by the Willy Brandt Center for several months. This event aimed to create an exchange between people who are working on similar projects and to build in Jerusalem a community that will support the Al Bustan Center.

Based on the work with Al Bustan, we know how important it is to see the Bedouin communities, their living conditions and the infrastructural problems with one’s own eyes. That’s why the WBC is organising a follow up event at the end of June: a tour to the Bedouin communities in the Naqab that will give the people of Jerusalem the chance to speak with these women themselves and learn about their businesses.

An Evening dedicated to Therese Zauser – May 4, 2019

On May 4th we enjoyed the inspiring visit of Brigitte Walk, who presented the fascinating story of Therese Zauser in a panel moderated by Judith Höffkes at the WBC.

Therese Zauser was a courageous young varieté artist who presented her solo shows throughout the Mediterranean region, Africa and the Middle East. After her return to Europe in 1941, she was murdered in a German concentration camp for speaking against the Nazi regime. Her legacy portrays an exceptionally courageous young woman and her fate.

The panel focused on Therese Zauser’s journeys in the Middle East during the 1930s, highlighting this outstanding artist’s historical and social path throughout this turbulent era. One of the many facts that struck the audience was that despite all obstacles, Zauser was able to travel freely by train and ship across the borders of our region, in a manner we can only dream of today.

The Austrian prizewinning actress, theatre director and producer Brigitte Walk allowed us to join her on her cross-regional research following the traces of Therese Zauser. She had the chance to meet and present her project to historians, film makers and those working in cultural organizations in Jerusalem, Haifa, Tel Aviv and Ramallah. We would therefore like to thank Noa Ben Shalom, Natasha Dudinski, Maria Gierlinger-Landa, Muna Khleifi, Arno Mitterdorfer, Eyal Sagui Bizawe and Savvas Vladimirou, for the interesting encounters and their precious input along the way.

Visit of Bärbel Kofler – February 28, 2019

On the 28th of February, Bärbel Kofler, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid and Social Democratic Member of Parliament, visited the Willy Brandt Center as part of her visit to Israel and Palestine.

During her stay, Bärbel Kofler visited many Israeli and Palestinian institutions and representatives, and took particular interest in German projects for humanitarian development in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Her visit at the Willy Brandt Center was an opportunity to reflect on her impressions and on recent political developments in the region, particularly with regards to the growing pressures on political activists in both societies, and the different narratives and claims that have shaped the conflict.

The project managers of the Willy Brandt Center, Judith Höffkes, Petra Klose and Maja Sojref, welcomed Bärbel to the Center and shared with her their insights and challenges from their recent work in the fields of dialogue and conflict transformation. Also joining the meeting was a Shabibat Fatah activist from Silwan, who is a frequent participant in our political cooperation. He explained what challenges Palestinian residents of Jerusalem face with regards to housing, employment and residency, and shared his wishes for the future of his neighbourhood and the city.

Happy International Women’s Day!

Happy International Women’s Day! <3

We send solidarity and best wishes for a better future to all the wonderful women around us, who work & fight everyday for an equal, just society for all.

Support our feminist work in Jerusalem & become a member of the WBC support association!

WBC – official postcard for Int. Women Day 2019, designed by Dorit Bialer

“Octaves of Light” – Performances by the Ensemble Wiener Collage in Celebration of Christmas and Hanukkah – December 17, 2018

The Willy Brandt Center was honored to host the Ensemble Wiener Collage, a chamber orchestra formation residing at the Arnold Schönberg Center in Vienna.

The ensemble, which is internationally celebrated for its contemporary music interpretations, presented two performances as an exciting alternative to the classical concerts of the Christmas season, playing a beautiful program for an open minded audience in a scenic setting by Australian director Tania Golden.
Christmas and Hanukkah are religious winter festivals that share many similarities. The musicians took their audience on a journey lead by light, from darkness and into joy.

When choosing composers for this evening, the Ensemble looked for young, ambitious Israeli and European artists to support their work. Thus, Arnold Schönberg’s “Christmas Music“, which consists of bits and pieces of famous Christmas carols, was combined with Klezmer melodies and creations by Benjy Fox Rosen, Dietmar Hellmich, Karl Kohn, Alexander Kukelka, Leon Pollak, Ella Milch-Sherif, Alexander Stankovski and Jaime Wolfson.

The Willy Brandt Center was delighted to welcome the prominent Israeli composer Ella Milch-Sherif, who attended the performance of her latest work, composed of two songs based on Yiddish poems written by Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman, which were expressively interpreted by mezzo soprano Patricia Nolz.

The Ensemble Wiener Collage includes members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra who are dedicated to contemporary music, together with outstanding independent musicians from the contemporary music scene. Guest conductors have included Pierre Boulez, Friedrich Cherha and Erich Urbanner. In Jerusalem, the ensemble played under the baton of its founder René Staar.

Our thanks go to Wien Kultur, the Austrian Federal Chancellery and to the Austrian Cultural Forum in Tel Aviv, for facilitating the artists’ journey to Jerusalem and implementing these special performances at our center.

Visit of Alice Salomon Hochschule – June 8, 2018

At the Willy Brandt Center, we believe that education is the key to building a sustainable, peaceful and just future. We are therefore always happy to meet young educators and to exchange ideas about challenges in political education and how to tackle them. On the 8th June, project coordinator Maja Sojref met with students of the Alice Salomon Hochschule who were travelling in Israel and Palestine to study the impact of trauma on a personal and political level.

Given this context, the students took particular interest in the Center’s “dual narrative” approach, which recognizes and problematizes the narratives, traumas, needs and aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians. They also came with a lot of questions about Holocaust education and were interested to learn that the Willy Brandt Center’s partner organisations have developed new concepts to include all of their members, be they Ashkenazi, Sephardi, Palestinian or other citizens of Israel, in their annual study trips to former concentration and death camps in Poland. The experiences and learnings from Israel and Palestine will surely accompany these young pedagogues and social workers during their studies and their professional life.

Narratives of Longing in Berlin

Performance of young artists from Berlin & Jerusalem

Saturday, March 17, 20:00

Theater Expedition Metropolis

Ohlauer Strasse 41, 10999 Berlin (Kreuzberg)

In November 13 young people from Berlin and Jerusalem came together in the WBC and practiced for a performance about “longing”. “What do you long for?” was the leading question young adults between the age of nineteen and twenty-two met for one week. They arrived with distinctive backgrounds of five different nations, using theories and approaches such as ethnology, fine arts, performance and videomaking. Besides their goal to get rid of old patterns and expose themselves beyond their habitual everyday life, they also aimed to reach an artistic result in the end of that week that they can present in front of an audience.

“Narratives of longing” is a cooperation with Drei Wünsche Frei-Studio for Hybrid Culture (Berlin), Theater Expedition Metropolis (Berlin), the Center for International Encounters (Jerusalem), the Willy Brandt Center Jerusalem and the Musrara School of Art.

Funded within the framework of the EUROPEANS FOR PEACE program of the Foundation EVZ (Erinnerung, Verantwortung und Zukunft / Remembrance, Responsibility and Future).

Eintritt: 6 €, ermäßigt 4 €

WBC Partners Conference in Jerusalem, October 19-20, 2017

This year’s partners conference was another opportunity for us to reflect on the past year’s activities, to exchange our experiences and to take a glimpse into the future: How do we continue to create peace and dialogue while surrounded by conflict? Taking a new route with our Annual Conference we focused this year on the city where we live, work and meet: Jerusalem.

There is no solution for the conflict without considering Jerusalem in all its complexities and contradictions. So this year we opened the doors of our Center in this very heart of the conflict for two days to focus on this complex and wonderful city. While our reception on Thursday was an opportunity for mingling, networking and discussing art exhibitions in the WBC, we invited our guests on Friday to take part in talking sessions with artists, political discussions with activists and journalists and to debate during breaks on our balcony and terrace the possible future visions of our city. We thank you all for joining our event and sharing your experiences and thoughts. We can’t wait to continue the discussions and ideas within our projects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Course: Education as a Political Act – Co-Creating New Possibilities

How do we learn how to think critically, and how do we teach others to learn how to think critically for themselves? How can we learn how to be in solidarity, and implement liberatory processes within our classrooms, staff meetings, and daily lives, through educational dialogue and creativity?

This 12-week course, Education as a Political Act: Co-Creating New Possibilities, explores the concept of critical pedagogy, created by the great educational philosopher Paulo Freire based upon his book “Pedagogy of the Oppressed,” through experiential and participatory practices of educational dialogue and the expressive arts (aesthetic education), and how to implement these philosophies daily in our work environments, classrooms, and activism.

The class will run from January 2018 – March 2018, once a week at the Willy Brandt Center Jerusalem on Wednesday’s from 17:30-19:30.

To express interest and to request more information, please email Shoshana Gottesman: shoshibee@gmail.com

Partners Conference 2017 – The Speech of Johanna Uekermann (Juso Chairwoman)

On occasion of the partners conference 2017 Johanna Uekermann visited the WBC a last time in her position as Juso-chairwoman. After four years of chairmanship Johanna will devote herself to other political challenges. Thank you, Johanna, for four years of committed support and solidarity, thanks for being a partner for peace and social justice!

You always will be welcome at the WBC!

Johannas speech in the full wording (WBC Jerusalem, 19.10.2017):

 

Dear comrades, dear friends of the Willy Brandt Center,

I am happy, that so many of you have gathered tonight at the place, which has become one of my favorite places to go to over the last years: The Willy Brandt Center. However, the Willy Brandt Center is not only a location, is not only this house: The Willy Brandt Center is a symbol, and an idea of a better future for all of us.

As some of you probably already know, this will be my last delegation to the region as chairwoman of Jusos, although I hope many others will follow, either for private amusement or in other political functions. But I want to take this opportunity to look back and share with you some of my personal impressions and experiences.

In 2016, we celebrated “20 years of the Willy Brandt Center.” It was a time where we looked back to the year 1996, when the Willy Brandt Center was founded. Back then the foundation did not include this wonderful house in Abu Tor. This house became part of the cooperation in 2003. No the Willy Brandt Center was a promise, a promise between the leaders of political youth organizations on an eye-to-eye-level to work together for a better future. A promise built on trust and personal relationships. And this trust, built on personal relationships and mutual understanding is something which has allowed the Willy Brandt Center to exist until today.

I myself look back to several meetings of the kind, where we built trust on a personal level to work together in the political scene. I like to remember a visit to Givat Brenner, the Kibbutz of the by-then chairman of Young Labour Uri Keidar. I like to remember a visit in Silwan, where we were invited by Ahmad to have dinner with him and his family. These are the kind of encounters, where bonds were created between people, which are stronger than the constant dissonances in day-to-day politics. Because this is what in my opinion the Willy Brandt Center is about: There are times of light and times of shadow, but we have always managed to keep our channels open, to communicate in times, where it hardly seemed possible and not to lose our personal bonds.

Dear comrades, the Willy Brandt Center has welcomed many people, people from all over the world, people with different perspectives, people from various political movements. It has seen people with political power and it has seen grassroot-activists coming from Germany to the region for their first time. And all those people are the Willy Brandt Center. Without them, it would not exist. And its existence also depends on the inclusion of new faces, of new people who feel the spirit of the Willy Brandt Center and it include it in their daily political activism. Therefore I look optimistic into the future of the Willy Brandt Center, because I know, and I am very sure about this, the Willy Brandt Center does not depend on single persons, but on the relationships we build on an eye-to-eye level every time we meet. I have built this kind of relationships, which I will hold onto in the future and I am sure the coming generations will do the same.

I want to thank all of you present here and those who cannot be here with us tonight. Have a wonderful evening!