Events Worldwide

Multilingualism, identity and integration in Israel with reference to Germany and Europe

May 17 2007, 16:00-17:30
Jerusalem, Israel

Today, few would deny the vital role played by language in respect of international migratory movements. Command of the host country’s language is the key to successful integration.
Against this background, the Jerusalem Goethe-Institut is organizing an event which will consider/examine how the State of Israel addresses multilingualism. Has the country managed to integrate groups of immigrants, speaking various languages and spanning the social-class gamut, while preserving their various cultural traditions and roots, or has language been used as a means of social exclusion and ethnic differentiation?
In a different sphere, proficiency in “foreign” languages and their associated cultures also serves as a deliberately and consciously cultivated medium of exclusion and distinction. Specifically, the discussion will look at the relationship between the Arabic, German and Russian languages and Hebrew from the point of view of equality and ethnic-cultural fragmentation. Israel’s legal system when it comes to dealing with non-Hebrew speakers caught up in criminal proceedings will be an additional issue. The role of the German language in Israel will be considered with special reference to the background of the Holocaust and immigration from Central Europe. When relating to the Hebrew and Russian, however, the main focus will be the interaction between social and linguistic factors and the socio-economic perspective.


Moderator: Prof. Joel Walters
Greetings: Simone Lenz, Goethe-Institut Jerusalem
Sibylle Katharina Sorg, Counsellor, Head of the Cultural Department, German Embassy Tel Aviv
Joel Walters, Bar-Ilan University: Indigenous and Immigrant Identities in Multilingual Israel (Engl.)
Ruth Morris, Bar-Ilan University: “Lip service” or: Interpreting in Israel’s Legal System (Engl.)
Larissa Remennick, Bar-Ilan University: The Hebrew and Russian Linguistic Domains in Israel: A History of Mutual Disengagement. (Engl.)

Coffee Break

Alan Rosen: Broken Hearts, Broken Homes: The Holocaust and Its Languages (Engl.)
Anne Birkenhauer: Die Herausforderung Aharon Appelfeld auf Deutsch eine eigene Stimme zu geben. (Hebrew/German) Lesung aus „Elternland“ Rowohlt Berlin 2007

Dokumentarfilm, Preview Part I
Der Klang der Worte im Herzen – Sprache als geistige Heimat (Ger, 30’), von Gerhard Schick ein Projekt des Goethe-Instituts Jerusalem

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Goethe-Institut Jerusalem

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    ergänzend zu der im Langenscheidt Verlag erschienenen Buchpublikation „Die Macht der Sprache“.