Rent-a-Jew service now available in Germany

The Telegraph UK

A Jewish community outreach group in Germany has hit on an eye-catching name for its program of educational seminars – Rent-a-Jew.

Group spokesperson Mascha Schmerling admitted that the title was deliberately provocative – but she hopes it will serve to promote conversation.

“We want to give people the chance to talk to the Jewish community,” Schmerling told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle. “We want them to see that we’re completely normal people. We don’t want to be defined purely by history and we don’t want to always be seen through this Holocaust len.

Set up by the European Janucz Korczak Academy, a Munich-based educational organisation, Rent-a-Jew seeks to counter anti-Semitism by sending ordinary Jewish people into German schools, colleges and universities to speak about their lives and experiences, and to dispel myths about Jews.

rent a jew.PNG

The initiative has been launched against a backdrop of rising anti-Semitism. According to Deutsche Welle, 2015 saw a 34 per cent increase in reported anti-Jewish incidents from a year earlier.

The Rent-a-Jew website elaborates: “For hundreds of years, anti-Semites have claimed that Jews are less valuable than other people. We are tired of hearing such assignments. And we believe that humor mixed with a bit of chutzpah is the best way to refute old stereotypes and prejudices and show how absurd they are.

“There are 100,000 Jews in Germany, but few [Germans] know a Jew personally. We want to change this by allowing encounters between Jews and non-Jews – away from stereotypes.

“With Rent-a-Jew , it becomes possible to each other instead of talking over one another to answer questions on both sides and break down prejudices.

“Jewish participants are as colorful as Judaism. They are not professional speakers or experts for politics and religion, but people from next door with their own personal stories and opinions.”

Editor’s note- This is a rental , terms and restrictions apply *

Published in: on December 16, 2016 at 10:08 am  Leave a Comment  

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