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.
We were happy to welcome our partners from the Hans Böckler Foundation for the 3rd time to facilitate a delegation for young scholars and student activists. Under the title “Amorphous borders? Conflicts, borders and boundaries within and between the Israeli and Palestinian society”, we facilitated a number of international encounters, political talks and tours and discussion rounds to give an impression of the complexity of our region.
Although 9 days are never enough to answer all the questions, we enjoyed furthering the knowledge of the group during meetings with German diplomats, discussions with trade unions from both sides and tours, and gatherings with activists. We can’t wait to continue our talks and our partnership with the upcoming delegation next year!
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
SAVE THE DATE
19-20 (Thu-Fri) October 2017
Willy Brandt Center Jerusalem, Ein Rogel 22
Dear Friends and Partners,
It is with great pleasure that we invite you to our 2017 Partners Conference, the 14th WBC Annual Conference. This represents an opportunity for us to reflect on the past year’s activities, to exchange experiences, and also to look to the future; asking the question, how do we continue to create peace while surrounded by conflict?
Jerusalem, the site of our house and the centre of much of our work, lies at the heart of the conflict, and it might be said that without focusing on this city, there can be no true progress. This year’s conference will focus on this complex and wonderful place, with workshops, panels, exhibitions, a guided district tour and networking opportunities.
We also look forward to celebrating another year of our project with all of you, remembering that as well as the work we do, it is the connections we make through it that truly define our success.
Further information will be sent closer to the event in October, to registered guests.
We’re looking forward to seeing you there!
Please RSVP to
and let us know whether you will attend the entire conference or one of the days.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us via: email@example.com
Your Team at Willy Brandt Center Jerusalem
Dear friends of the Willy Brandt Center Jerusalem,
Germany‘s Federal Elections are coming up on September 24th 2017!
Join us for an ELECTION NIGHT VIEWING PARTY!
Let’s celebrate with food and drinks while the electoral map is beeing decided.
SUN, SEP 24, 18:30-22 PM // FREE
Willy Brandt Center Jerusalem
Ein Rogel Street
Katharina Asbrock is the new Social Art and Communication’s Project Coordinator at WBC.
She has spent recent years working in Berlin’s political landscape, and was on the communications team at the Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees, and Integration at the Federal Chancellery (Bundeskanzleramt).
Katharina’s first encounter with the WBC, Jerusalem, Israel & Palestine was about 10 years ago – “and I was – stunned!” she remembers. Back then she was living three months as a volunteer in East Jerusalem, in the district of Silwan. This experience has paved her way back to the WBC: “It was a big challenge that taught me to always be open-minded and stay tenacious. And most importantly I realized that future visions need a safe space to grow.”
As a theatre science and comparative literature graduate, Katharina concentrates on building new collaborations with Palestinian and Israeli artists in order to conduct a rich array of the arts for the WBC. Furthermore, she aims to create a safe space that inspires and allows people with different backgrounds and from diverse cultures to connect through art.
“What may sometimes appear unattainable in political diplomacy can perhaps be achieved through the language of the arts”, she says.
Shaked Sabag-Barel is an artist and activist. “I know how difficult it can get to find performance and exhibition space here in Jerusalem, which is off the beaten track yet unique, inviting and inclusive”. She believes the WBC is a place that can provide the surrounding and space needed for that and she’s excited to join the Social Art team at the WBC.
Shaked is an actress and dancer, currently studying Dance Movement Therapy (M.A.A.T) in David Yellin Academic College of Education, Jerusalem. Prior to that she graduated in theatre studies at Tel Aviv University (2009-2012).
Katharina and Shaked are delighted to introduce their new program and start their season’s activities.
You are invited to follow us on our website, Facebook, and twitter – and if you are in Jerusalem, don’t miss out on the music program, exhibitions, performances or lectures. For cooperation, questions and inquiries, feel free to contact Katharina:
I learned to love with all my heart, to cry when needed, and to create all the time, with no fear.
I learned again that we are all human beings, not so different, no matter where we come from, we are one. This project made me believe, in full heart that art can change the world.” (Noa)
Since many years the Willy Brandt Center Jerusalem has engaged in international exchanges with young artists, writers and musicians. This projects take place as cooperation with other cultural associations and/or art schools in Jerusalem and abroad.
In summer 2016, the Willy Brandt Center, together with the “Musrara School of Art Jerualem” and the Berlin based cultural association “Drei Wünsche Frei” invited young art students to work in a collaborative creative artistic processes about “Diversity”.
As a result of this wonderful encounter we have published a book with poetry and photography.
D!versity* – Poetry, Fragments & Photography
Hardcover, 100 pages, Englisch with Hebrew and Arabic
Published by Support association Willy Brandt Zentrum e.V. in cooperation with
Center for International Encounters Jerusalem, Willy Brandt Center Jerusalem, Drei Wünsche Frei-Studio für kulturelle Praxis, Berlin un dMusrara-The Naggar Multidisciplinary School of Art & Society, Jerusalem
Funded within the framework of the EUROPEANS FOR PEACE programme of the Foundation EVZ (Erinnerung, Verantwortung und Zukunft/ Remembrance, Responsibility and Future).
You’re Amazing, But You’re not.
You’re Beautiful , But You’re not.
You’re Cute, But You’re not.
You’re sexy, But You’re not.
You’re Happy, But You’re not.
You’re Sad, But You’re not.
You’re Small, But You’re not.
You’re Tall, But You’re not.
You’re Thin, But You’re not.
You’re Thick, But You’re not.
You’re Sick, But You’re not.
You’re Fat, But You’re not.
You’re Ugly, But You’re not.
It’s My Body… But It’s not…
It’s My Body …But It’s not…Your Bussiness!
(Sara Iona Yassin)
On June, 8 we presented the book at the Theater Expedition Metropolis.
Fotos: Stefanie Brachtin/Stiftung EVZ/Europeans for Peace
The occasion was the visit of the section for Human Geography of University of Hamburg in Jerusalem. The Willy Brandt Center took this opportunity and brought together experts and activists for a critical exchange about the history, development and current status of Jerusalem. The idea was to gather activists and experts on the history, development and status of Jerusalem to exchange and discuss. Several NGOs as well as academics provided both perspectives, academic and activist.
The focus of the discussion has been placed on the division of the city and how to overcome it. The aim was to elucidate the big question characterizing this unique city. Reflecting on a vision for Jerusalem will include revising the role of NGOs and the one of academia and what kinds of intervention make sense in these times. The event included a lecture by Prof. Dr. Shlomo Hasson (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) and presentations by NGOs Ir Amim and Bimkom.
As every year the partner organizations of the educational project sent members to one of the biggest LGBT Seminars in Europe. It’s a pleasure to see our partners in the Educational Center Kurt Löwenstein Haus near Berlin mixing up with other young people from around the world to sharpen their conscious about LGBT topics and make the struggle for LGBT rights an international one.