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Humanity in Action Announces Recipients of 2019 Grant Competition



Humanity in Action is excited to share three of the eleven projects that were selected for a grant for the 2019 campaign: Addressing Antisemitism in Germany, Poland, Ukraine, the US and online. These projects and those soon to be announced all aim at providing information about historical and present-day forms of Antisemitism, prevention, creating meeting spaces between people with Jewish and non-Jewish identities, linking history and remembrance with the present, developing information or prevention campaigns (empowerment, awareness raising, story telling) as well as targeted resistance to Antisemitic statements or actions.

All grant recipients be announced in the coming days leading up to our Conference & Action Academy in Berlin (October 24 – 27, 2019), where recipients will get together to discuss and further develop the project proposals. All projects to be announced are of equal recognition and confidence by Humanity in Action – the order in which projects are announced has no bearing on their selection or amount of grant support. Senior Fellows were invited to submit project proposals by September 1, 2019. All projects were eligible to receive up to 5,000 Euro.

Stay tuned for more grant-winning projects to be announced!


Local Narratives of Diversity in Action – Against Urban Antisemitism and Social Exclusion

Jan Kirschenbaum (2011 Berlin Fellowship) and Aleksandra Wilczura

Project in Poland
Team: Maciej Krasniewski (2010 Berlin Fellowship), Bethanie Martin (2018 Warsaw Fellowship) and Dominika Burakiewicz (2018 Warsaw Fellowship)

Poland promotes itself internationally as “the meeting place’’ of different cultures, particularly by stressing its tightly intertwined Polish, German and Jewish past. At present, however, it grapples with a dramatically raising wave of nationalism, Antisemitism, xenophobia and social exclusion. Jewish cemeteries are repeatedly vandalized; Antisemitic, racist and nationalist graffiti are common sights on buildings.

It is not widely known by the inhabitants of Lower Silesia, Opolskie and Mazovian Voivodeships that before World War II, their cities were the most prominent centers of Polish-German-Jewish life and afterwards housed the biggest Polish community of Holocaust survivors who wanted to rebuild Jewish life in Poland. Thus, the team plans to implement a project aiming at restoring the presence of the Jews of these regions in the collective memory. They also aim to combat stereotypes and preconceived notions of Jews by exposing them to contemporary Jewish communities of these regions.

Together with a wide range of partners, the project will employ methods of informal education on national diversity in context of the Jewish community & preventing Antisemitism in Polish society. It will include lectures, workshops, murals of Polish-German-Jewish sports clubs and a football tournament for children.


Going Beyond the Perpetrator Narrative: Increasing Depth and Empathy in German Holocaust Education

Sydney Eisenberg (2019 Berlin Fellowship), Helen Kramer (2017 Berlin Fellowship), Rose Reiken (2019 Berlin Fellowship) and Noam Schimmel (2001 Amsterdam Fellowship)

Project in Germany
In Partnership with Facing History and Ourselves

Teaching about the Holocaust is a mandated requirement in German schools starting at a relatively young age. They learn dates, facts and statistics, and by the time they reach the end of high school, oftentimes these students do not want to hear any more about the Holocaust and feel disconnected from what they view as an issue of the past.

The project team believes that introducing German educators to the pedagogy and ideals of Facing History and Ourselves would be an important step in combating the rise of antisemitism. Facing History and Ourselves is a nonprofit that empowers teachers and students to think critically about history and their own choices through curriculum creation and professional development. By encouraging teachers to educate with a Facing History framework, students will not only learn about the past, but will also connect these lessons to the present and combat the discrimination that still exists in their country today.

With partnership from Facing History and Ourselves, the team will establish a workshop exploring Holocaust education in Berlin for teachers or students studying to be teachers. Employing this freely accessible pedagogy will allow teachers to easily implement this work in their classrooms.

The team believes it is time for Holocaust education in Germany to change and challenging current and future teachers to understand and further this goal is the first step.


Learning Through Listening – Preserving Through Performing

Katherine Clifton (2016 Amsterdam Fellowship)

Project in the United States

Within this project, a documentary play from interviews with Jewish and Muslim resettled refugees will be created and staged. The interviewees will speak about the role of religion in their displacement, resettlement, and integration in the United States. In this documentary play, Katherine Clifton will focus on the stories of Jewish and Muslim refugee narrators. It feels more pressing than ever to find common ground in this antagonistic arena that grows more polarized by the tweet. This play will present histories of Holocaust survivors, Soviet Jewish refugees and Muslim refugees at a time when numbers of refugees being resettled in the United States while highlighting the civic and moral significance of religion in their lives.

With this play, Katherine seeks an audience to whom the story deeply matters to open up spaces of dialogue, deep listening and chaplaincy within intercultural and interfaith communities. It feels more pressing than ever to find common ground in this antagonistic arena that grows more polarized by the tweet and when numbers of refugees being resettled in the United States are at a historic low. This play will present histories of Holocaust survivors, Soviet Jewish refugees, and Muslim refugees while highlighting the civic and moral significance of religion in their lives.

Our Supporters

We thank the Foundation EVZ for their generous support of this project.