The Project: “Meet a Jew” at our school
On January 26th we participated in the project “Meet a Jew” by the Central Council of Jews in Berlin in our English class, year 11. Our school is a member of “Schools against Racism” and therefore we try to fight against prejudices. So, we met Michelle (19) and Alexandra (21), two Jewish women, who practice Judaism in different ways. We also invited Abi, our assistant teacher from London, who contributed the British view on Jewish life in Europe.
Kosher meat is animals with cloven hooves (except for pigs), who were killed without suffering as well as fish with fishbones. We learned that the strictness of their religion depends on the communities they were born into and though a lot of Jews grow up in similar occasions they visit summer camps to practice their traditions.
We also wanted to know how it is to be one of the approximately 200.000 Jews in Germany and the answer was shocking. Whereas they mostly don’t get recognized as Jews in public, Alexandra once got beaten up for wearing the Star of David on the streets. But they also experience antisemitism in more subtle ways such as shocked reactions to them being Jewish or comments like “You’re a good Jew”.
It was interesting to get an insight into Judaism and the two women were really open-minded, which caused an enjoyable atmosphere. In the end we found out that Muslim and Jewish traditions, food and even religion resemble a lot. In conclusion, we say that Judaism is a religion of variety with a lot of traditions and that everyone deserves the same rights and acceptance regardless of their religion because we are all humans.
(Henriette Stahl, Nicole Winter, Inge Rein-Sparenberg)