Speaking at the award ceremony at Rotes Rathaus (Berlin City Hall), Foreign Minister Maas underscored the importance of former Israeli President Peres, who died in 2016, for German-Israeli relations:
Shimon Peres is one of the many who offered their hand to us, despite the German crimes against humanity. It is above all thanks to them that Germany and Israel have such close ties today.
The prize thereby honours projects that not only strengthen exchange between Israel and Germany, but that also try to tackle future social challenges, thus taking bilateral cooperation to a new level.
Commitment to democracy
The project More Than One Democracy of the Adam Institute for Democracy and Peace in Jerusalem, which is conducted in cooperation with the Center for Applied Policy Research at the University of Munich, promotes education for democracy through extracurricular courses. These activities are based on the Adam Institute’s More Than One Democracy handbook – which the project partners have put into action through workshops. Under the method, mixed groups examine different concepts of democracy, so as to both learn about and understand democratic values, as well as translate these into action and pass them on to others. In addition, instructors and multipliers receive training, so that they can help expand the project’s reach.
The fight against marginalisation
The project Professional Exchange: Understanding and Responsibilities of the Association of Youth Centres in Saxony (AGJF Sachsen) and Sapir College in southern Israel brings together students and social workers for the purpose of learning together and from one another. The focus is on helping people who are geographically, economically and culturally marginalised. As part of the project, participants visited local initiatives and workplaces in both countries. Together, they developed instruments and best practices for working with street youth and addressing youth violence, as well as for promoting the (political) participation of young people and fostering democratic skills.