Gishur: Connecting Communities
Gishur offers capacity, community and coalition building to empower Jewish community leaders and activists to challenge xenophobia and to promote inclusion through dialogue with refugees, asylum seekers and migrants.
While immigration to Europe has increased in recent years, some in the Jewish community have expressed concerns of potential antisemitic attitudes among asylum seekers originating from Muslim-majority countries. Conversely, other Jews, often themselves descendants of refugees escaping persecution, identify with the plight of newcomers. Although European Jews and recent migrants and asylum seekers often share similar histories and experience various types and degrees of intolerance and discrimination, their relationship is often framed by mutual mistrust. Some Jews fear being exposed to antisemitism because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At the same time, anti-Muslim racism and xenophobia are on the rise and impacts refugees and migrants.
Addressing antisemitism and xenophobia at once, Gishur creates spaces for improved dialogue and mutual understanding between Jewish and migrant communities and debunks harmful bias, myths and stereotypes. Through Gishur, community leaders, youth and activists can take an active and meaningful role in standing against hatred through shared values.
Activities will run for 18 months, starting in February 2021, and include:
- The development of three Jewish holiday resource guides that promote values associated with social inclusion, under the guidance of an expert group
- Capacity building by training Jewish community leaders, rabbis, youth leaders and activists in applying the three resource guides
- Community building by organizing local interfaith holiday celebrations, based on the Jewish holiday resource guides
- Coalition building towards the development of a European Jewish Network against Xenophobia and for Inclusion
Coordinator and Partners
HIAS Europe, Coordinator of Gishur, is the Brussels-based office of HIAS, providing humanitarian aid to forcibly displaced people around the world. HIAS Europe provides a Jewish perspective to European policymaking on forced migration and humanitarian relief and supports Jewish communities across Europe in their efforts to protect, welcome and integrate refugees.
CEJI - A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe stands with people of all backgrounds to promote a Europe of diversity and respect. A Jewish voice at European level, CEJI’s activities include delivering diversity education, enhancing interfaith and intercultural dialogue, while advocating in the EU against antisemitism and discrimination of all kinds.
Paideia – The European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden is an academic and applied educational institute of excellence, with the mandate of working for the revitalization of Jewish life and culture in Europe, and educating for active minority citizenship. The organization has a pan-European approach, every year offering educational opportunities to individuals from more than 15 different European countries.
This project was funded by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014-2020)