The key words in the fight against ignorance, misunderstandings and stereotypes are education, information and dialogue. Many people have little or no contact with Jews and are not familiar with Jewish customs, customs and traditions. What is foreign to you and you don't really understand can have a deterrent effect. That's why the Swiss Federation of Israelite Communities (SIG) launched the Likrat project.
"Approach each other"
Likrat is Hebrew and means "to approach one another". Jews and non-Jews should approach one another. Likrat conveys Judaism in a lively and memorable way, because the different people meet at eye level. The so-called Likratinos and Likratinas go to school classes or organizations and answer all the questions of those present in a "Likrat encounter". The principle of every Likrat encounter is that all questions can be asked – there is no right or wrong in a Likrat encounter.
Breaking down prejudices and stereotypes
The aim of the project is to break down prejudices and stereotypes against Jews and Judaism, to convey intercultural and interreligious experiences and to promote tolerance and dialogue in a sustainable and effective manner. Likrat has existed in German-speaking Switzerland since 2002 and in French-speaking Switzerland since 2015. During this time, around 100 meetings took place each year. This enabled around 1,500 schoolchildren to be reached each year. With Likrat Public, a spin-off was launched in 2015 that focuses on companies and organizations. In the meantime, Likrat has also been exported to other European countries.
Likratinos and Likratinas
Every year, the SIG trains young Jews to become Likratinas and Likratinos. The future Likratinas and Likratinos are intensively prepared for encounters with school classes and organizations. They attend several seminars in which they get to know their religion better and learn how to respond to critical questions in a quick-witted manner. In addition to knowledge transfer and rhetoric, the focus is on simulations of encounters in order to prepare young people and young adults as best as possible for future Likrat encounters.