To mark “40 Years of the Jewish Welcome Service”, two Leon Zelman Prizes have been awarded. They go to the dialogue project Likrat and the Republican Club – New Austria.
The Likrat project originated in Switzerland and has since grown into a European project. This involves the “Likratinos”, young people between the ages of 14 and 18, visiting 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 motto of the dialogue is: “Let’s talk” – after all, the Hebrew “Likrat” means something like “to approach someone”.
In Vienna, the project has been in existence since 2015 and here, too, Likrat actively contributes to breaking down prejudices in order to – in the spirit of the award’s namesake – build a world together in which hatred, anti-Semitism and racism have no place.
Communication in the sense of Leon Zelman
The second award winner in 2021 is the Republican Club – New Austria. The “Club” was founded in 1986 in the course of the presidential election campaign and the “Waldheim Affair” as a non-partisan initiative and symbol of Austria’s historical amnesia and its late confrontation with its Nazi past. For 35 years, the Republican Club and its members have represented a “new Austria and a new generation”, an active civil society, and tireless efforts against xenophobia, anti-Semitism, racism, and social injustice.
With its extensive program of events on social as well as human rights topics, the Republican Club has also been an important venue for events for many years and significantly contributes to education, dialogue and understanding in the sense of Leon Zelman.
This year’s Zelman Prizes will be officially awarded in September as part of a ceremony in Vienna’s City Hall.