Rent a Jew?!
You think our name sounds offensive? Don’t judge a book by its cover! It’s to get your attention. Now that we have it, let’s talk about why this project is a good idea.
Germany is a country of about 81 million people - only about 200,000 of which are Jewish. As a consequence, most Germans have never met a Jewish person, despite the omnipresence of the Holocaust in German public life and in school books. A lot of Jewish people, on the other hand, want to be more than just the regular stereotypes, reduced to victims.
This is where Rent a Jew steps in. The initiative provides speakers to educational institutions or groups, for school classes, adult education courses, religious communities, student groups or cultural associations. In reaching out to non-Jews, we aim to provide the opportunity to socialize with the Jewish community and break down prejudices in the process. The focus of our encounters is to introduce real people and promote dialogue about the current Jewish life.
Talk to us, not about us. We don’t give lectures on Jewish history or religion as experts but talk about what it’s like for us to be a Jew in Germany. Above all, we encourage people to ask questions and yes, voice those stereotypes like: Are all Jews rich? Do they control the media? Or are they really the chosen people? Most importantly, people can talk with Jews instead of only talking about them.
How much does it cost? Surprise! The service is free. We only ask to reimburse the travel expenses, if there are any.
Who are we? We are about 50 young professionals or students aged between 20 to 40, mostly volunteers. The initiative was launched by Jüdisches Medienforum with support of the European Janusz Korczak Academy and help from the Jewish Agency for Israel.