Meeting of the Minerva Fellows 2024 

Space for exchange and confidence in difficult times 

January 25, 2024

From January 15 to 16, 2024, the German and Israeli Fellows of the Minerva Fellowship Programme came together in Tutzing on Lake Starnberg. 

Gaining strength through exchange and encounters in difficult times - this was the aim of the 1.5-day meeting of German and Israeli Minerva Fellows at the Akademie für Politische Bildung in Tutzing on snowy Lake Starnberg near Munich.

Since the outbreak of war in Israel, triggered by Hamas' horrific terrorist attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, the Fellowship Programme of the Minerva Stiftung has faced the greatest challenges in its 50-year history. In addition to the evacuation of the German Fellows from the crisis area shortly after the attack, the past few months have also been characterized by the support of the Israeli Fellows in Germany in view of their great concerns about the developments in their home country and the consequences for their family and friends.

The fact that all Minerva Fellows are currently in Germany due to the crisis and that there was no meeting, as originally planned for the 50th anniversary of the Fellowship Programme in Jerusalem in November 2023, a meeting now seemed a wonderful and nice opportunity to come together.

The beautifully situated conference venue of the Akademie für Politische Bildung in Tutzing provided the ideal conditions for the meeting: On day 1 the participants had the opportunity to present their very exciting and excellent research projects from all fields of research to an interested audience. It was inspiring and affirming to see the excellence, motivation and enthusiasm behind each individual Fellow and his/her research. A night hike, a nice get-together and a few games of table football rounded off the evening. The exchange was noticeably significant and helpful for all participants, but the difficult situation in which the Israeli scholarship holders in particular currently find themselves was never completely forgotten.

A half-day workshop on day 2 of the meeting with Israeli coach and psychologist Dr. Ori Harel, who had already conducted coaching sessions with the Israeli Fellows in the months before, was also intended to enable the Fellows to strengthen their own resilience in these times of crisis and to learn helpful communication strategies. The workshop was concluded with promising mindfulness exercises.

Overall, the meeting was not only another important contribution to German-Israeli understanding, but also offered all participants space for exchange and confidence in these difficult times.




Julia Radlewitz / Minerva Stiftung 

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