The 9th conference is jointly organized by Haver Srbija and Bet Debora.
Haver Srbija is a non-profit and Jewish community organization, active in the field of informal education and working in partnership with individuals, NGO-s and public institutions – mostly primary and high schools and institutions – to overcome prejudice, anti-Semitism and intolerance in Serbia. Haver Srbija was founded in 2012.
Our mission is to change the attitudes of people, and to build a society of coexistence, living together based on shared values and common understanding. Our programs are designed and cover all generations, with a special focus on non-Jewish primary and high school students in Serbia.
Topics that we explore, teach and cover:
- Jewish culture, tradition and history
- Jewish life on the territory of Republic of Serbia
- Holocaust education and research
- Minority and marginalized groups in Serbia
- Discrimination and human rights
- Culture of Remembrance
- Volunteerism and activism
Our activities are designed for all generations, religions and nationalities; our main focus is to educate and empower participants to take an active role in shaping our society.
More info about our work: http://haver.rs/about/
The Team of Haver Srbija:
Sonja Viličić was born in Serbia. She lived in Budapest for almost ten years where she finished University and worked for the J.D.C. (Joint Distribution Committee) in various positions as an informal Jewish educator, including the program director of the Szarvas youth camp and the Educational Director of regional programs with the aim of Jewishly educating youth and students through informal educational frameworks. For several years Sonja was co-running the Matara youth leadership training program of the Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv) Europe at Limmud UK. She is also a graduate of the Melton Senior Educators Program at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Today, Sonja lives in Belgrade, Serbia where she is one of the founders and Executive Director of NGO Haver Srbija whose aim is to introduce the non-Jewish population to the culture, history and tradition of the Jewish people as a step toward confronting prejudices, misconceptions and discrimination.She also coordinates the educational program “LedorVador” of the Federation of Jewish communities of Serbia, is a facilitator for MASA, Jewish Agency for Israel and together with her friends and colleagues organizes Limmud Ex-Yu.
Never in my life did I think that I would be living in Belgrade and at the moment there is no other place that I would rather be. The challenge of living in a city that is a mixture of East, West and Middle East creates a special atmosphere where people are very warm and welcoming, but bear a certain dose of rebellion in them which makes the city far from being calm. Belgrade is a city where its inhabitants’ passion for life can be felt on the streets 24/7, where there are rules but usually used in order to be broken, where you can smoke on every corner, and where you can see a lot of smiling faces.
When I want to relax and run away from everyday life I go to a bar which has good wine and even better rakia, where the music is chosen carefully and where you can buy all kinds of records, books and strange art. When you want to take a break in Belgrade you should definitely visit Leila Records bar. Let me know if you liked it.
Dragana Stojanović works in the field of cultural studies and media theories, researching the ways that media influences the everyday cultural reality and processes, as well as our notions of history, contemporaneity and future. Her particular interest involves memory studies, gender studies, (post)feminism studies, posthuman studies, traditional culture studies and the like. Currently she is working as an Assistant Professor for cultural studies and theory of art and media at the Department of Media and Communications in Belgrade. She is also active within the Jewish community of Serbia, working with the organization Haver Serbia as an educational project consultant and program facilitator.
People often ask me if I could choose the city I would most like to live in, what it would be, and my answer is always – Belgrade, where I already am. With its vibrant mix of generations, differences, histories, with its semi-wild streets full of people stopping spontaneously at one of the city parks, libraries, galleries, markets or cafes, it’s always alive and opened to surprising encounters. It’s a city that gives you an open space to explore yourself continuously, to change and to experiment in the most unpredictable ways. It’s the city of survival, as much as a city of bohemian pleasure and of ever-growing potential that lives within its people.
When you are in Belgrade, don’t miss the local coffee shops – rumour has it that their atmosphere and quality are the reasons we don’t have any foreign coffeehouse chains – let us know what you think!
Jelena Vasiljević is a legal technician, long-time activist of the LGBTI and feminist movement. She is currently working on capacity building and development for member organisations of ERA – LGBTI Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and Turkey. As a Program Coordinator in Labris – Lesbian Human Rights Organization – Jelena has gained 10 years of experience in program and project management, community organizing, advocacy, fundraising, and organizational development.
For over 15 years, Jelena has been dedicated to working on improving the position of LGBTI community with special focus on addressing lesbian and feminist issues nationally, regionally and internationally. She believes in the potential of each individual to change the world both in their local communities and globally.
The thing about Belgrade that she loves the most are its riverbanks and views of the architectural skylines of Belgrade.
Tanja Kalinic is middle-aged woman with 20+ years as an activist.She works as a clerk but has other interests and passions that occupy her life.
I love Belgrade from the 100 year-old stones of its paved streets to the newest graffiti on its walls. I love the chill wind that blows from the rivers Sava and Danube, and I like to sit in the sunshine where the rivers meet and sip coffee.
The team of Bet Debora:
Tanja Berg has a degree in political science from the Freie Universität Berlin. At the NGO minor she works as a project manager on topics of democracy, civic education and gender. She has 20 years of experience in the field of civic education with children, youngsters and adults. Tanja is a member of the board of “Bet Debora”, has been active for many years in German-Israel youth exchange and in other grassroots.
Lara Dämmig studied library science and management of cultural and non-profit organizations, and works for a Jewish organization in Berlin. In the 1990ies she was instrumental in organising a Rosh Chodesh group and an egalitarian minyan in Berlin. In 1998, together with Elisa Klapheck and Rachel Monika Herweg, she launched Bet Debora, the Jewish women’s initiative, and organized the first three conferences for European female rabbis, cantors, Jewish activists, and scholars, held in Berlin between 1999 and 2003. She is co-chair of the Bet Debora association.