Young Ambassadors in the Pinkhas Rozen Home
In the summer of 2013 I invited Tuvia Tenenbom, a jewish writer and journalist for a lecture to the Pinkhas Rozen parents home. Tuvia is an American-Jewish Journalist and director of the Jewish Theater of New York. Mr. Tenenbom, who is born in Bnei Brak is the author of the book “Catch The Jew” which was on top of Israels best selling lists for many weeks and also the author of the book „I Slept In Hitlers Bedroom“ a book that steered a big debate about Antisemitism in Germany since it describes with humor his countless encounters with locals in the 40 cities he visited throughout Germany. Through his encounters he had to discover that many Germans, knowingly or subconsciously, still harbor anti-Semitic views.
“Not much changed” Tuvia told the audience in the Pinkhas Rosen parents home. I know Tuvia personally and I know that he just shared his scathing impressions of the Antisemitism that he encountered, though he was not looking for Antisemitism in Germany in the first place. To the great surprise of the author the lecture became very controversial. While some residents thanked Tuvia for telling things as they are, others unexpectedly stood up for Germany and dismissed the lecture as populist and accused the author of turning a blind eye on reality and exaggerating marginal phenomenoms.
Anyway in summer 2014 – a year after the lecture much of what Tuvia described came to the surface.
In wake of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Germany and Israel the third Asher Ben Natan conference took place in Tel Aviv.
One of the questions that were discussed was how to improve the Israeli-German relations in a time that 54% of 18-29 year old Germans holding negative views of Israel.
German and Israeli Experts agreed that the best way to distort this negative views are youth exchanges.
“Chama” [Parents’ Homes Network] contributes a lot to this solution with many volonteers every year that get an inside view of Israel and more than that get to know the residents who are Holocaust survivors and belong to the generation of the founders of the state of Israel. The impact on German-Israeli relations can’t be overestimated since this young people challenge negative views on Israel back home. Many become involved in some sot of further German-Israeli activities. With no doubt are the young volunteers in the Parents‘ homes and especially in the Pinkhas Rozen Parents‘ home an excellent example of what has to be done to improve German-Israeli relations.