In the middle of September, Vienna’s City Councilor for Cultural Affairs, Veronica Kaup-Hasler, presented the Leon Zelman Prize for Dialogue and Understanding at Vienna City Hall for the ninth time. To mark 40 years of the JWS, two prizes were awarded this time round: To the dialog project “Likrat” for young people and to the “Republican Club”. The documentation of the prize-giving is now available on YouTube, as are clips of interviews with earlier prizewinners.
The project “Likrat” (Hebrew for “to approach someone”), involving young people of the Jewish community, was initiated in Vienna in 2015. Under the motto “Let us Speak” (Lass uns Reden), the “Likratinos”, young people between the ages of 14 and 18, visit non-Jewish young people of the same age, primarily in schools, to provide information about Judaism and report on the diversity of Jewish life.
The second prize winner, the “Republican Club – New Austria” (Republikanischer Club – Neues Österreich), was created in 1986 as a cross-party initiative in the wake of the “Waldheim affair”. For 35 years, the Republican Club and its extensive program of events for an active civil society has worked tirelessly against xenophobia, antisemitism, racism, and social injustice.
The two prize-winning organizations have rewarded two initiatives “that set an example for a practiced, open dialog”, explained Kaup-Hasler at the presentation of the award, which comes with a cash prize of €5,000. You can watch a summary of the event on the YouTube channel of the Jewish Welcome Service, where interviews with earlier Zelman prizewinners have also recently been uploaded.