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Jewish Life is a Part of Germany

How can a democratic society combat increasing prejudice, racism and anti-Semitism?

Classrooms Without Borders, in partnership with the American Association of Teachers of German, the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in New York City, and Germany Close Up, is honored to convene a lecture with Dr. Felix Klein, Germany’s Federal Government Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Anti-Semitism.

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The office of Federal Government Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Anti-Semitism was created in 2018 and is based at the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community. Dr Felix Klein was appointed as the first holder of this office effective 1 May 2018.

The position of Federal Government Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Anti-Semitism was created by the Federal Government’s current Coalition Agreement. The post is also a response to the debate over growing anti-Semitism in Germany and how the federal level can best counter this phenomenon.

According to a Bundestag resolution, the Commissioner is to have an independent circle of advisers to be appointed in consultation with the Federal Government, consisting of Jewish and non-Jewish experts from academia, education and civil society.

As commissioner for the fight against anti-Semitism, Dr Klein’s task is to coordinate the relevant measures taken by all the federal ministries. He will also serve as contact person for Jewish groups and organizations, and as a liaison for federal, state and civil society measures to combat anti-Semitism.

The Commissioner will also coordinate a standing joint federal and state commission made up of representatives of the responsible bodies and will provide public information as well as civic and cultural education to increase public awareness of current and past forms of anti-Semitism.

Dr. Felix Klein

Dr Felix Klein was born in Darmstadt in 1968. He has served as Federal Government Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Antisemitism since May 2018. After attending school in Darmstadt, he attended the United World College in Duino, near Trieste, Italy, where he earned the International Baccalaureate school-leaving certificate in 1987. He studied law at the University of Freiburg and at the Freie Universität Berlin. Following his law studies, he completed a masters programme at the London School of Economics, receiving the degree Master of Public International Law (LL.M.). From 1994 to 1996, he trained for the German higher foreign service at the Federal Foreign Office training centre in Bonn. In 2001, he received a doctorate from the University of St Gallen, Switzerland, with a dissertation on a topic in the area of family law. He began his diplomatic career as desk officer for South America and served abroad in Jaunde, Cameroon and Milan, Italy. From 2007 to 2018, he held various posts at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin, lastly as Special Representative for Relations with Jewish Organizations and Issues relating to Anti-Semitism.

Outside of work, Dr Klein is passionate about classical music. He started playing the violin as a child and has played in numerous chamber music ensembles and orchestras, including the Akademisches Orchester Freiburg and the RIAS Youth Orchestra. He is currently a member of the Berlin Diplomatic String Quartet, which focuses on performing works by Jewish composers. In his free time, he often goes to concerts and the theatre. He enjoys hiking and bicycle touring with his family, and he loves to ski. Dr Klein is married and has three daughters.

Thank you to our partners:

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Lecture with Dr. Felix Klein: “Jewish Life is a Part of Germany”

Monday, Nov. 23, 2020 @ 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM


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