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Social Cohesion Forum

Promoting social cohesion among communities in Germany, Israel and the United States.

The Foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future (EVZ), the Ted Arison Family Foundation (TAFF) and Humanity in Action held a second Comparative Social Cohesion Forum in Israel from February 25 to 28, 2019. The first Forum was held in Berlin in June 2017.

(c) Ariel Shruster Photographer

About the Initiative

The goal of the Forum was to encourage thought-leaders and social actors from Germany, Israel and The United States to explore the complex and contested relationship between aspects of “Social Cohesion” and aspects of “Social Coercion.”

At a time when liberal democracy and the values associated with social cohesion are under attack; we believe their defence requires candid clarification of the limits of liberal “accommodation.”

Our goal was not to reach unanimous agreement but to allow participants the opportunity to explore and clarify their own personal and organizational positions and to map our shared spaces of agreement and disagreement. Through this process, and by sharing our insights with others in our respective “social cohesion” communities, we hope to contribute to the promotion of more cohesive societies.

Impressions from the Forum

Forum Goals of the 2nd German-American-Israeli Comparative Social Cohesion Forum “Between Cohesion and Coercion”

Theoretical:

  • Contextualize, explore and clarify our two key concepts; “social cohesion” and “coercion”
  • Explore the contested relationship between them, from different perspectives (moral, ideological,
    pragmatic…) and at different levels (individual, organizational, national, global)
  • Identify and debate the most pressing related issues we respectively and jointly face from our
    German, Israeli and American perspectives
  • Clarify the points at which coercion undermines social cohesion and where it is required to
    preserve and reinforce it
  • Map and debate our areas of agreement and disagreement

Personal:

  • Explore, share, compare and clarify our personal experiences, motivations, ideas, concerns,
    our respective German, Israeli and American perspectives and dilemmas
  • Build interpersonal relationships for the future

Organizational:

  • Identify the major issues we are addressing, relating to issues of social cohesion and coercion
  • Compare our missions and the ways we encounter and address related dilemmas
  • Apply our insights to conceptualize organizational recommendations and plans
  • Build relationships for the future

Reflections on Nazareth

This Forum was generously sponsored by: