The New Concept
Founded in 2010, the Israelcongress aims to strengthen the bonds between Germany and Israel - at all levels. The Congress, held in Frankfurt in 2011, saw over 3,000 participants and 200 supporting organizations – making it the largest conference of its kind in Europe.
The Idea: Providing Israel solidarity movements, politicians and the public a forum for exchanging ideas and discovering options for cooperation. The preceding conferences took place in Frankfurt. They included panels, speeches and workshops relevant to German-Israeli relations. 2013 saw the conference moving to Berlin.
The concept of the Israelcongress has changed in 2013: Mutually shared ideas concerning future-oriented themes were exchanged and discussed in five Labs – politics, business, scholarship, culture and religion – making the conference attractive to an even wider audience.
An action-oriented platform is what the Congress was planed to be. Projects, which actively seek to embrace the younger generation, were discussed and realized in the various labs. They were then implemented together with Congress partners. The results of this year’s Lab goals will be presented in 2015.
The ILI-Prize was awarded – as in the past – during the Israel Congress. The prize recognizes people in Germany who have left a striking impact on German-Israeli relations. The first ILI-Prize went to publicist Ralph Giordano, in 2011.
New target audiences were attracted to the Israel Congress via its new concept. The Business Lab, for example, attracted leading businesses and start-ups from both Germany and Israel. The interreligious dialogue program actively engaged Germany’s Muslim community, theologians and Christian groups. Politicians, scholars, artists and even young people remained equally important target groups, alongside people and organizations who have actively supported Israel in the past.