Networks Overcoming Antisemitism (NOA), a unique coalition of major Jewish organizations including the World Jewish Congress, is promoting the work of Geschichtomat, a Germany-based Jewish cultural initiative that teaches students about Germany’s Jewish history and culture.
The project, which was founded by the Institute for the History of the German Jews and has received funding from the Office of Science of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and the Reinhard Frank Foundation, among others, aims to educate students by visiting museums, interview prominent cultural authorities, and research various topics. When their research is complete, students upload films, or articles they have produced to a digital map on Geschichtomat’s website.
“When you learn about Jewish life in German schools you learn about the Holocaust and maybe about persecutions in the Middle Ages,” said Geschichtomat Project Manager Dr. Camren Bisotti, adding, “[d]on’t get me wrong, it’s a very important part. But if the only thing you learn is that Jews were a persecuted minority and not a part of society, you get a wrong impression.”
According to Bisotti, the project has provided students with an, “insight into the Jewish history of their city. Jewish people are no longer seen as just an unknown minority, but suddenly part of their own history and everyday life.”
Since its launch in 2013, over 800 students have participated in the project. In January, Geschichtomat won the Obermayer Anniversary Award for its work raising awareness to Germany’s Jewish history and culture.
To nominate a project to be featured on the Networks Overcoming Antisemitism (NOA) website, click here.