Social Work in Multi-Ethnic Societies – An Exchange Program

Diversity and belonging – how do they relate to one another and what implications does this have for social work facilities? This one-year project entails a group of around 20 staff members from Evin e.V. in Berlin and the Arab-Jewish Community Center in Jaffa developing approaches to tackle this question that take their cues from biographical considerations. The broader framework here is living together in multi-ethnic societies as well as specific questions relating to the Middle East conflict. Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia: which stereotypes exist with regard to such categories as “Jewish” and “Palestinian”, when and how have the participants come into contact with them and which personal and professional stances can be found to do away with these stereotypes?

The participants explore these questions in two ten-day meetings in Berlin and Jaffa. The focus is not only on theory, but also on (their own) practice: diversity is the common thread running through the backgrounds of all those taking part, with the Middle East conflict playing a specific role for each and every one of them. Alongside the opportunity to exchange specialist knowledge, biographical self-reflection is also at the heart of their joint engagement with questions of the self and the other – both within workshops and during visits to thematically relevant institutions. All in all, a personal, holistic image of social work in the respective other country is thus created, from which important impulses for bilateral networks and new educational concepts can subsequently arise. The findings will be documented on a website and in exhibitions held on the premises of both institutions.

“Social Work in Multi-Ethnic Societies – An Exchange Program“ is a project by Evin e.V. in Berlin in collaboration with the Arab-Jewish Community Center in Jaffa. The project brings together 10 staff members from each of the two institutions for the period from May 1, 2014 to April 30, 2015. The program consists of two ten-day working phases in Germany and Israel in June and November 2014, which include workshops and visits to various social work faculties. The project will be documented online using photos and film and brought to a close with two exhibitions.