AJC, Konrad Adenauer Foundation to Mark 35 Years of Partnership
20 Apr, 2015, 11:18 ET
BERLIN, April 20, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In celebration of the 35th anniversary of German-Jewish collaboration between American Jewish Committee (AJC) and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS), more than 100 high-ranking alumni from the United States and Germany will gather in Berlin for a ceremony on April 22. The keynote speaker will be former German President Christian Wulff, who is an alumnus of the program.
"The AJC-KAS exchange program makes an exceptional contribution to German-Jewish understanding in the wake of the horrors of the Holocaust," said Deidre Berger, Director of the AJC Berlin Ramer Institute for German-Jewish Relations. Even after 35 years, this dialogue between American Jews and Germans has lost none of its verve. Participants continue to show enthusiasm for building bridges and creating partnerships. This was only possible because of the high regard in which our partner, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, continues to hold for this relationship."
In 1980, AJC and the KAS initiated the first exchange program between Germany and the American Jewish community to build understanding through personal encounters. The program began at a time when German-Jewish relations, in the shadow of the Holocaust, were still tense, with few available platforms to build mutual understanding. To date, more than 800 American Jewish leaders and German policymakers have participated, visiting their respective countries and engaging in discussions about modern Germany, U.S. politics, and Jewish life.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel recognized the significance of the AJC-KAS partnership at a ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of the program: "You who have participated in this exchange program have made an important contribution to the rebuilding of a relationship that has been nearly destroyed by the Holocaust," Merkel said.
Establishment of an AJC-KAS German alumni association will be announced at Wednesday's anniversary event. "At a time when ever more people are allegedly seeking closure on the Holocaust era, it is all the more gratifying to see young leaders from Germany actively dedicated to maintaining and even expanding this partnership," said Berger.
In addition to former German President Christian Wullf, Hans-Gert Pöttering, Chairman of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and former President of the European Parliament, and Anthony Meyer, Chairman of the American alumni network and Co-Chairman of the Board of the AJC Berlin Ramer Institute, will address the anniversary event.
The AJC Berlin Ramer Institute opened in Berlin in 1998 and works to underscore understanding for Israel, fight anti-Semitism and xenophobia, and promote diversity and intercultural understanding.
SOURCE American Jewish Committee
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