Empowering Unity: ENCATE’s 2023 Highlights

2023 is ending, and while the recent and ongoing events have been incredibly difficult, we want to share some of our highlights and achievements this year. In our field of countering antisemitism, we are now called to rise to the occasion and work harder than ever for the safety and acceptance of all members of our societies. This work is multilayered, and we, as practitioners, are also affected emotionally and psychologically by the extreme rise of antisemitism and racism. Building alliances, sharing resources, supporting and learning from one another are essential to make real progress.

In 2023, we organized, with our partner CEJI, a series of three regional workshops dedicated to the manifestation of antisemitism in different local contexts. In Barcelona, we met with Jewish organizations and local politicians and facilitated a conversation about the needs and the gaps that Jewish communities in Spain experience.

In Athens, thanks to the support of the Jewish Museum of Greece, we met with educators, teachers, principals, and representatives of the Ministry of Education to better understand the realities and allocation of resources for countering antisemitism through education. And in Rome, we joined Keshet Italia for the first ever European Jewish Queer Pride to explore how to foster Jewish queer life in all of its diversity.

Lunch Talks

As part of our approach to countering antisemitism together with other discrimination forms, we continued to conduct our monthly Lunch Talks with more focus on the intersections of antisemitism with different kinds of prejudice and hate.

Our Lunch Talks are available to watch on our YouTube channel and are a recommended resource for gaining some insight into complicated topics in a brief and comprehensive format. This year’s highlights were the talks «White Jews: and Intersectional Approach» and «The Struggle between Anti-racism and Anti-Antisemitism».

Current Forms of Antisemitism

Another milestone in 2023 was our certificate training program for educators, «Current Forms of Antisemitism». The kick-off seminar of the course began on 9 October, two days after the Hamas attacks in southern Israel. This had a tremendous impact on the entire course and on our participants. The theoretical discussions we typically conduct were fused with pressing real-world events and cases of antisemitism. This year’s feedback greatly appreciated the space to discuss, better process, and understand what is happening.

Holocaust Distortion and Counter Strategies

The last highlight of the year was the «Holocaust Distortion and Counter Strategies» conference in Berlin, which took place on November 15-16. The ENCATE team provided support for this timely conference, which was organized by KIgA e.V. and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. It was a great opportunity to discuss this challenging topic with colleagues from 11 ENCATE member organizations, as well as other experts and practitioners

As we look to 2024, we understand that recent events are causing a ripple effect that will be felt for a long time. It’s clear to us as practitioners and members of society that we need to shift our approach towards tackling antisemitism and other forms of discrimination. We are committed to working tirelessly together to overcome hate, build bridges, and explore creative, new, and innovative ways to build a stronger and more resilient community of practitioners.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and suggestions on how we can do better. You can contact us at encate@kiga-berlin.org.

Visuals: © KIgA e.V.

The majority of this year’s 2023 activities were realized through the DaRE Together project. We would like to thank our partners and supporters.