The dialogue-based project in connection with Jewish guests in Swiss tourist destinations is being carried out for the third time in 2021. The aim remains the same: to enhance mutual understanding between local hosts and Jewish guests.
The dialogue and education project Likrat Public is starting into its third season on 19 July 2021. For three weeks, project members will again do their utmost to foster greater mutual understanding between local hosts and Jewish guests, using various methods in the process. A larger number of Jewish visitors are expected this summer compared to the previous year. The Corona situation is currently more relaxed, with less strict entry and quarantine regulations making travelling easier. Like groups from other countries, Jewish tourists tend to align their travels with school holidays in their home countries. The true starting point of the main Jewish travel season is, however, «Tischa Be’Aw» the Jewish day of fasting and mourning, which this year lasts until the evening of July 18.
Pre-empting cultural misunderstandings
Especially in the tourism industry, cultural differences can easily lead to misunderstandings. Locals would therefore often like to know more about how best to interact with Jewish visitors – and vice versa. The aim of this summer project is to pre-empt cultural misunderstandings by entering into a dialogue both with the local population at tourist resorts and with the Jewish guests there and thereby foster mutual understanding. Two brochures provide basic information in this context: one for Jewish guests and one for the tourism industry. The tourism brochure was issued by the two associations «Schweiz Tourismus» and «hotelleriesuisse» in collaboration with the SIG. The brochure for Jewish guests was created by the SIG with the support of the Jewish-orthodox community in Switzerland.
Test visits to new destinations
The Likrat Public team members have already achieved a measure of fame as mediators of Jewish culture in certain tourist destinations. This year, they will again be active at the locations of the past years. Stationed in Davos, with outposts in Arosa, St. Moritz and Saastal, they will however, for the first time, also conduct a number of exploratory visits to new destinations, including Blausee, Crans Montana, Engelberg, Grindelwald, Riederalp and Sedrun. The aim of these visits is to assess whether there is enough potential and demand for on-site Likrad activities. The aim of the Likrad mediators at all locations is to approach people, to enhance mutual Swiss-Jewish understanding, and to field questions. Locals are encouraged to ask questions without inhibitions and acquire knowledge about the needs and habits of Jewish visitors. And Jewish guests can turn to the mediators for relevant information and contacts in cases of uncertainty or difficulties.