In mid-March, Rafi Kishon, son of the satirist Ephraim Kishon, who died in 2005, visited Vienna at the invitation of the JWS. The occasion was the opening of the exhibition “Alle MESCHUGGE? Jüdischer Witz und Humor” (Are They All MESCHUGGE? Jewish Jokes and Humor).
The cooperation with Hillel Canada, “Celebrate Jewish Life and Culture in Vienna” was continued. The JWS invited students to Vienna in May.
“Breaking Boundaries”: In June, a delegation from AJC ACCESS, the representatives of the younger generation of the American Jewish Committee, visited Vienna. The JWS conceptualized, organized and managed the program for the visit in cooperation with the Press & Information Service and the Austrian Embassy in Washington.
The first Leon Zelman Prize was awarded – to the “GEDENKDIENST Association” for its contribution to combating fascism, anti-Semitism, racism and other forms of discrimination.
In Szczekociny, the city where Leon Zelman s. A. was born, the Jewish cultural festival YAHAD – RAZEM was held for the sixth time in July. This year, the Polish translation of Leon Zelman’s autobiography “Ein Leben nach dem Überleben” (A Life After Survival) was presented.
“Celebrate Jewish Life and Culture in Vienna”: The cooperation between the JWS and the student organization Hillel continued in March, this time with two Hillel chapters from Baltimore, USA.
In May, the memorial in remembrance of the expelled and murdered students and professors of the business university (formerly the Academy for Global Trade) was presented at the new WU Campus.
Jewish Life in Vienna: Study trip for Young Professionals in cooperation with the Holocaust Education Centre Toronto. The JWS invited a group of 15 young professionals to Vienna.
The 2014 Leon Zelman Prize went to the school community of G 19 / Martin Krist
Restitution: The JWS supported Anne Starkey in her efforts to return a painting by Jehudo Epstein to the painter’s great-nieces in collaboration with the JMW.
In September, the JWS looked after the daughters and granddaughters of Rudolf Ephrussi, the youngest son of Victor and Emmy Ephrussi, when they visited Vienna to search for traces of their family.
The JWS invited the historian and Shoah survivor Gertrude Schneider to Vienna in cooperation with the Main Library.
In October, the final event of The Vienna Project was held in the Austrian National Library – a memorial project for the victims of National Socialism by Karen Frostig, artist, author and granddaughter of Austrian holocaust victims.
The JWS invited siblings Dan Arnold and Daphna Amit from Israel to visit Vienna in November in cooperation with the Theodor Kramer Society. Their grandmother Paula Arnold taught at the Zwi Peres Chajes School, while their great-grandfather Leon Kellner was a companion of Theodor Herzl.
The museum “Für das Kind” (For the Child) opened on December 11 and serves a reminder of the Kindertransport (children’s transport) to England in 1938/1939. Thousands of Jewish children were able to escape persecution by the National Socialists in this way. Many of their parents and siblings were not.
In March, the Chilean-American writer Marjorie Agosin visited Vienna at the invitation of the JWS and attended multiple events where she spoke about her family history during the National Socialist period.
“Celebrate Jewish Culture in Vienna. Past – Present – Future”; in March, the JWS again hosted a group of students from Hopkins Hillel, Baltimore.
In April, the contemporary witness Harry Bibring visited Vienna at the invitation of the JWS in cooperation with the GDENKDIENST Vienna.
In May, the social worker, spiritual instructor, psychotherapist and poet Greta Elbogen visited Vienna at the invitation of the JWS and the Theodor Kramer Society. The occasion was the presentation of her volume of poetry “Gott spielt Verstecken / God Plays Hide And Seek”.
A study group of young professionals from the Holocaust Education Centre Toronto got to know Vienna at the end of April / beginning of May at the invitation of the JWS.
The free brochure “Jewish Vienna – Legacy and Mission” has been completely redesigned by the Jewish Museum Vienna and the Jewish Welcome Service, supported by the Vienna Tourist Board and the Press and Information Service of the city of Vienna (PID).
In June, the educator Robert Streibel was awarded the 2015 Leon Zelman Prize for his initiatives in memory of the Shoah.
A high-ranking delegation of the American Jewish Committee New York visited Vienna in June. The JWS organized a varied program together with AJC NY and the Austrian Consulate General.
The “Monument Against War and Fascism” created by Alfred Hrdlicka in 1988 was placed in a new context by the temporary video installation “The Missing Image. Vienna 1938.” by Ruth Beckermann.
The photographer Meinrad Hofer explored the living conditions of Austrian Jews who were able to flee to the USA between 1938 and 1945. He presented his results in the book “Witness. Realities of Forced Emigration 1938-1945”. The JWS organized the opening reception and book presentation at Theater Nestroyhof HAMAKOM and invited the photographers Lisl Steiner and Trudy Jeremias, two of the subjects, to Vienna.
To mark the first anniversary of the “Für Das Kind” museum in memory of the Kindertransport operation to rescue Jewish children in 1938/39, initiator Milli Segal and the JWS invited contemporary witness Alisa Tennenbaum and her daughter Bina Besser from Israel to visit Vienna.
In January, Sophie Freud, granddaughter of the psychoanalyst, spoke with the historian and writer Peter Huemer about her life in an interview conducted in the Wiener Stadtsaal. The invitation of Sophie Freud was supported by the JWS.
At the beginning of February, Rafi Kishon, son of the Israeli author and humorist Ephraim Kishon, visited Vienna with the support of the Jewish Welcome Service and entertained the public at the Jewish Museum with stories from his father’s life.
The British author and publicist Freema Gottlieb (New York) came to Vienna in April at the invitation of the JWS and gave a presentation at the Republican Club.
The 2016 Leon Zelman Prize went to the historian and writer Gabriele Anderl, who for years has dealt with the disenfranchisement, deprivation, expulsion, exodus and exile of Viennese Jews in her work.
In June, George Langnas, together with his sister Manuela, handed over the estate of their mother, Mignon Langnas, in particular the diary entries, to the Jewish Museum Vienna. Mignon Langnas survived the National Socialist period and the war as a Jewish nurse in Vienna. The family’s visit to Vienna was supported by JWS.
At the initiative of the Institute for Jewish History in Austria and with the support of the JWS, a meeting for Jewish families expelled from St. Pölten and the surrounding area in Lower Austria and Vienna during the National Socialist period was held in June.
The “new” website of the Jewish Welcome Service went online shortly before the end of the year. The new website impressed everyone with its accessibility, greater user-friendliness as well as automatically adjusting to mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
Within the scope of the visit program for expelled Jewish citizens, hundreds of guests, including many children and grandchildren, were looked after by the JWS during their visits to Vienna between 2013 and 2016. The visitors came from many countries, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Switzerland, the UK, Uruguay and the USA. The visits were supported by the City of Vienna, the Federal Republic of Austria and the Vienna Insurance Group. More photos