On June 21 at Vienna City Hall, Municipal Councilor Marcus Schober presented this year’s Leon Zelman Prize for Dialogue and Understanding to the Viennese initiative Shalom Alaikum, which helps refugees, on behalf of City Councilor for Culture Andreas Mailath-Pokorny. The first prize is endowed with 5,000 euros and donated by the City of Vienna.
“Shalom Alaikum,” explained Mailath-Pokorny in a press release, “is a civil society initiative committed to helping refugees, regardless of their origin or religion. Thus the initiative also makes a contribution to peaceful co-existence in our city.”
The initiative was established by a group of Viennese Jewish women in the fall of 2015 and has been involved in refugee aid ever since. The name is a combination of the Hebrew word “Shalom” (“peace”) and the Arabic “Alaikum” (“be with you”).
Persecution, expulsion and flight are no strangers to the members of Shalom Alaikum. They are part of their family history. The jury of the Leon Zelman Prize acknowledged the civil society commitment of Shalom Alaikum – Jewish Aid for Refugees to mostly Muslim refugees.
- Information on Shalom Alaikum: http://shalomalaikum.at
- Laudation of Rabbi Schlomo Hofmeister (German, PDF)