Likrat confronts prejudices by means of education, information and dialogue. It gives schoolchildren, organisations and companies opportunities of direct, eye-level encounters with Judaism and provides them with associated information.
The key tools for confronting ignorance, misunderstandings and stereotype notions are education, information and dialogue. This is why the SIG launched its dialogue and education project Likrat in 2002. Many people have little or no contact with Jews and are unaware of Jewish customs and traditions. And people often react with uncertainty and rejection to what is unfamiliar and strange. This is where Likrat sets in.
Real-life encounters with Judaism
The word «Likrat» is Hebrew and means « approaching each other». The idea is that Jewish and non-Jewish people should take a step towards one another. Likrat conveys Judaism in a vivid and memorable manner because it builds on personal encounters with people from all walks of life. Eye-level encounters with Judaism brings to the fore aspects that people have in common. The aim of Likrat is to foster mutual understanding, emphasise commonalities and reduce antisemitic and racist prejudices. This approach makes it possible to share intercultural and interreligious experiences and to effectively and sustainably promote tolerance and a culture of dialogue. The project is borne by its ambassadors, the Likratinos and Likratinas. Each year, training courses are held for mostly young Jews who wish to take on this role. They are given thorough preparation for encounters and interaction with school classes, organisations and individuals.
Prevention at schools
The project originally began in 2002 as an offer for schools, and has retained this core focus to this day. Upon invitation, Likratinos and Likratinas visit school classes and speak openly about Judaism as a religion as well as their personal religious and cultural life experience. One of the principles of any Likrat encounter is that all kinds of questions can be asked – there are no taboos. With visits from Likratinos and Likratinas, Judaism is given a human face. Such encounters facilitate learning, and what is learnt is more easily retained. By presenting objects from Jewish life and telling stories that go with them, the Likratinos and Likratinas bring Judaism to life.
Likrat for adults, companies and organisations
in 2015, a spin-off named Likrat Public was launched, focusing on companies, organisations and adults in general as target audiences. The emphasis is still very much on personal encounters with Judaism. Likrat Public enables company employees, representatives of organisations and adults in general to experience direct encounters with Jews living in Switzerland in order to learn more about Judaism and Jewish ways of life. Likrat Public’s counterparties often want to know more about how best to deal with Jewish clients or guests. Practical questions in this context can be handled in a simple dialogue. Likrat Public offers both team training events and the possibility of advice and mediation in individual cases.
A Swiss idea receives widespread attention
The success of the Likrat format has not remained unnoticed. It has, over the years, inspired similar projects in Germany, Austria, Moldova and Peru. Likrat supports such related projects and maintains brisk exchange with many of them. The parent project in Switzerland is itself continuously evolving and adjusting to current issues as well as to the wishes and requests of interested parties. The SIG is extremely pleased with the broad-based interest and the ongoing demand that the project generates.
Documentary «Likrat – der Film»
As part of the Likrat encounters, Jewish adolescents visited a school class in the Zürcher Oberland region and spoke about what it meant to be a Jew. This encounter was recorded by a film crew – for the first time ever.