About the Likrat Project
Likrat takes action against prejudice and antisemitism through dialogue, education and information. Schoolchildren, organisations and companies can engage directly with Jewish people through Likrat and experience and learn more about Judaism in an accessible way.
Jewish people, members of other minorities and certain groups in society are constantly subjected to stereotyping and prejudice. This is often rooted in ignorance of unfamiliar cultures, religions or ways of life, along with other misunderstandings. It can lead to conflict or antisemitism, racism, hostility, discrimination and even hatred. The Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities SIG, which acts as an umbrella organisation for the Jewish community in Switzerland, sees prevention and education as key to addressing such issues. To this end, SIG launched the Likrat dialogue and education project in 2002.
The Likrat mission
Fostering a greater familiarity with the unfamiliar and unknown is an effective way of tackling antisemitism, prejudice and stereotypes. In Switzerland, many people know very little about Judaism and its traditions, culture and diversity. Many have never even met a Jewish person in real life, let alone had a conversation with one. That’s where Likrat comes in. Likrat aims to create mutual understanding, emphasise the things we have in common, and dismantle antisemitic and racist prejudices and stereotypes. Likrat facilitates intercultural and interfaith experiences and promotes tolerance and dialogue in an effective and sustainable way.
Encounters with Jews and minorities in general
‘Likrat’ is a Hebrew word that means ‘coming together’. Jewish and non-Jewish people need to come together. Likrat opens a window onto Judaism in a vivid, memorable way by enabling different people to come together as equals. Knowing about Judaism and having direct contact with Jewish people can help prevent antisemitic prejudices or ideas from taking hold, especially among young people.
Likrat for Schools
The idea for the project first emerged in 2002 as an initiative for schools in German-speaking Switzerland. This remains its primary focus to this day. Likrat has also been offered to schools in French-speaking Switzerland since 2015. ‘Likratinos’ and ‘Likratinas’ visit the participating schools and give pupils an insight into the Jewish religion and their personal religious and cultural experiences.
Likrat Public for organisations and adults
Likrat Public was launched as a spin-off in 2015 and focuses on companies, organisations and adult audiences in general. The principle remains the same: in-person encounters give the participants direct experiences with Jewish people and allow them to learn more about Judaism. Likrat Public helps non-Jewish organisations, businesses, public authorities, institutions and associations to gain a better understanding of their Jewish counterparts.
Vice Versa – a centre of excellence for diversity management
In early 2022, SIG launched another spin-off project, Vice Versa, which aims to raise awareness and promote diversity. Vice Versa takes a broad-based approach to diversity, based on the many years of experience and considerable expertise gained over the course of the Likrat programme. Antisemitism, racism, misogyny and homophobia are a major challenge across society, and prejudice usually stems from a similar place. Vice Versa helps minorities in Switzerland to develop diversity-related skills and projects, and provides organisations with advice and training in this area.
Ongoing project development
Likrat and its spin-offs are constantly evolving. The project adapts to the wishes and requirements of its ever-growing target audience. Likrat is run by the Education and Prevention department at SIG. Its team is made up of specialists in prevention, education and diversity. The department also has an advisory board, comprising Professor Erik Petry, Lecturer in History at the University of Basel, Professor Judith Hollenweger Haskell, Lecturer in Education and Diversity and Head of the Department of Inclusive Education at Zurich University of Teacher Training, Rabbi Professor Joshua Ahrens, and historian and school principal Dr Zsolt Balkanyi-Guery.
The team behind Likrat
The Likrat programme is organised and managed by the SIG department of Education and Prevention.
Head of Education and Prevention
Deputy Head of Education and Prevention