WR65: Germans, Jews and the Enlightenment: Lessons for today?

Summary: This report looks at the Jewish historical experience with reference to the specific and unique German-Jewish experience of the Enlightenment and its aftermath, and argues that it has particular relevance to today’s world. There has been an unprecedented increase in the numbers of refugees seeking to escape persecution and worse by fleeing to other parts of the world, which has created more widespread challenges among the already domiciled populations. The author argues that lessons may be learned from the German-Jewish experience: about the relationship between what we commonly call church and state, and more particularly, with future relevance for young people in schools, how the experience may be drawn upon to help generate a tolerant, constructive and mutually beneficial approach to ‘the other’.