Learning from critical and common questions – Likrat International Weekend

Likratinas and Likratinos from Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Moldavia met in Zurich at the weekend. The focus was to simulate Likrat encounters with school classes. The teenagers asked one another critical and difficult questions on the themes of Judaism or their identity and were therefore able to develop their skills and make friendships.

During encounters, Likratinas and Likratinos have one central task: to answer questions. That’s why the 40 Likratinos at the Likrat International Weekend mainly did one thing: ask and answer questions.

On Friday evening, Rabbi Noam Hertig was put on the spot: «Can you be a good Jew and not believe in God?» or «Why does God let bad things happen?» were questions the young Jews had. As soon as one question was answered, other hands shot up immediately. The Rabbi was bombarded with questions. It soon became clear: young people think deeply about their Jewish identity.

When encounters with school classes were simulated on Saturday and Sunday, the young Likratinas and Likratinos challenged each other in turn and didn’t ask any simple questions. They explored and debated. Often the young people surprised us with their knowledge and quick-wittedness. Constructive and honest feedback followed a question round and they didn’t shy away from praise or criticism. Yoni from Bern benefited from this: «I have learnt to give a more self-confident impression and to come out of myself». The Likratinos exchanged tips and experiences on how to control nerves or competently react to criticism. Sophie from Vienna was convinced that she could use her newly acquired skills in the next Likrat encounter.

The Likratinas and Likratinos soon noticed that Likrat is different in Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Moldavia. The specific cultural conditions in different countries influence the encounters. Sophie from Germany noticed that the Swiss brought up the subject of Shechita again and again. She said she had already led a few encounters but had never been asked about this. «In Germany, more questions are asked about Jewish identity. In Switzerland, this seems to be more obvious. I think that’s great – I’m considering studying in Zurich.»

The social aspect also didn’t fall short: the young Jews were rewarded with a tour in the sunshine through Zurich. They were also able to let off steam at laser tag. The weekend ended in a traditionally Swiss way with a chocolate tasting session. Naftalie, Sophie, Yoni and Katarina all agreed: the aim of the seminar, to learn and enjoy the weekend, had been accomplished.

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Contact

Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities (SIG)
Likrat
Gotthardstrasse 65
P.O. Box 2105
CH-8027 Zurich

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