Deutsche Version

Karov-Qareeb קרוב قريب : Jewish-Muslim Thinktank of the Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Studienwerk and Avicenna-Studienwerk

The Jewish Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Studienwerk (ELES) and the Muslim Avicenna-Studienwerk initiated  in early 2019 in the form of the Jewish-Muslim thinktank Karov-Qareeb a new platform for Jewish-Muslim dialogue in Berlin. This marks a further expansion of the two scholarship funds’ years of collaboration, developing a new tool for interfaith dialogue. Karov-Qareeb is open to Berlin-based scholarship holders of all 13 scholarship funds for gifted students and seeks to intensify the exchange between Jewish and Muslim scholarship holders. Karov-Qareeb is located within the ELES program Dialogperspektiven. Religionen und Weltanschauungen im Gespräch, which has since 2015 been exploring innovative approaches to interfaith and inter-worldview dialogue, putting these to the test with scholarship holders from all the scholarship funds.

“Over the last few years, a desire developed among the scholarship holders from ELES and Avicenna to shape Jewish-Muslim relations more sustainably and to establish a structure for this exchange that strengthens these relationships, and with them the relationships of the present and future. Karov-Qareeb wants to meet this desire and give the students’ wish to shape this relationship a framework.”, explains Jo Frank, managing director of ELES. Hakan Tosuner, managing director of Avicenna, adds, “ Our scholarship holders demonstrate not only academic excellence, but also great societal engagement. They want to help shape and change society. Our new thinktank addresses this group and, in doing so, reaches the future leaders and decision-makers within the Jewish and Muslim communities in Berlin.”

“Karov” (Hebrew) and “Qareeb” (Arabic) mean “convergence” or “proximity” and thus stand for both the process and the goal of the thinktank. Karov-Qareeb seeks to foster and cement alliances and influence the broader society beyond the two communities. In 2019, the scholarship holders will develop the topics and their own goals together in a series of three workshops. The results of this collaborative effort will be presented at a public evening event in Berlin on 8 December 2019. The participants will document their work via social media and a website ( that they will develop themselves. A further goal is to develop a guide to Muslim-Jewish dialogue that will allow other institutions in Berlin to build their own alliances.

Karov-Qareeb will present itself to the public throughout the course of the year, beginning with the inaugural event in the series “Visions of Society. Together for an open, pluralistic, democratic society”, which took place in Berlin on 7 March 2019, and on further occasions. Karov-Qareeb, along with Dialogperspektiven, took part in the Foreign Office’s Lange Nacht der Ideen (Long Night of Ideas) in Berlin on 6 June 2019. Karov-Qareeb and Dialogperspektiven will be holding a joint evening event on the topic identity politics vs. social cohesion on 19 November 2019.

Information on the program: Rachel de Boor:

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