ENCATE established to counter antisemitism in Europe

KIgA e.V. is establishing a European network to counter antisemitism with an opening ceremony today in the German Foreign Office.

Berlin, May 14, 2019 — German nonprofit KIgA e.V. is establishing the European Network for Countering Antisemitism through Education (ENCATE) with an opening ceremony today in the German Foreign Office with the participation of H.E. Heiko Maas. ENCATE will act as an informal platform hosted by KIGA until it receives a formal structure.

The network born today is an appeal against indifference. It shows: We who are committed to tolerance and togetherness – we are the overwhelming majority on this continent. And that…gives me courage.

We are all here today because we believe in Europe. We are here because we believe in diversity. And we are here because we believe in being together. And in the fact that only together we can successfully fight antisemitism, hatred and intolerance.

How does this network improve the efforts to counter antisemitism?

Heinous terror attacks in France, Denmark, and Germany to Synagogues and Jewish institutions sparked apprehension not only among Jewish communities but also for anyone concerned about hate and violence. Some recent researches suggest antisemitism should not be just seen as an isolated terror threat. Because it is manifested in discriminatory behaviors in everyday life.[1]

If we look at the bright side of the picture, we see many endeavors to counter antisemitism. However, a multi-faceted problem needs to be countered in multiple ways. Among many, education focusing on current antisemitism is often a neglected area. Endeavors are not mostly steady nor coordinated on the civil society level.[2] In this sense, international organizations like UNESCO and OSCE identified the necessity of addressing antisemitism through education.[3]

Similarly, the EU underlined the vitality of educational measures to combat antisemitism, including measures strengthening civil society actors.[4] We understand education as an essential, although not the sole, tool to counter antisemitism. For that reason, we aim to bring together organizations that have programs in the context of formal, informal and non-formal education.