Jonas Fegert is the NYU Bronfman Global Coordinator for Europe.
I was born in Berlin on 3 October 1990 – exactly on the day of German Unification- and grew up in Berlin’s neighborhoods Wilmersdorf and Zehlendorf, as well as in Potsdam. I also lived in Moabit and and eventually moved to Kollwitzkiez in Prenzlauer Berg, where I still live today. Although I love traveling and exploring other countries and cultures, Berlin always remained my home. Certainly Berlin does not stand out for its beauty or idyll, yet there is something special about this unconventional city.
I attended the Jewish High School Moses Mendelssohn in Mitte and studied Political Science at Freie Universität in Berlin afterwards, where I specialized in political theory and history of ideas at the Otto Suhr Institute of Political Science. During this time, it was important to me to concentrate my studies on more theoretical subjects in order to complement the practically oriented, political job I had at the office of a member of the German Federal Parliament (Bundestag). At the age of 18, I started working at Member of Parliament Ekin Deligöz’s office, focusing on education policy, children’s and youth rights, and gender equality. Six years later, it was time to move on and leave the political bubble for a job where I would have the possibility of interacting more directly with people.
In 2010, I was one of the first students to receive a scholarship from the German-Jewish Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Scholarship Fund (ELES) and was later elected as students’ spokesperson. After graduating from university in 2014, I was quickly hired by ELES. Initially, I worked as a consultant and was responsible for administrating and advising 120 students who were studying in different fields all across Germany and Europe. In this position, I was also responsible for creating Hillel Germany, a branch of Hillel International, the largest Jewish student organization worldwide . Together with our scholarship holders, we established over 12 Hillel Hubs in German cities, one in Vienna and another in Basel during a short period of only 10 months.
Since August 2015, I have been coordinating ELES’ newly created international department. ELES has partnered up with the NYU Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life in order to connect NYU students abroad with local European students. While I still work at ELES, I am now also the NYU Bronfman Global Coordinator for Europe. As part of this new position, I will be visiting NYU’s European sites as often as possible to build and expand on relationships with the student communities students and organize Bronfman Global activities in Europe. These will include opportunities to celebrate Jewish holidays and Shabbat, to learn more about the Jewish heritage of the places in which the students are studying, and to get them in touch with contemporary European Jewish life. ELES and Bronfman Global partner with NYU Berlin on a number of initiatives. Of particular importance is ELES’ project on interfaith dialogue (“Dialogperspektiven”). We invite all of you to join our events if you are interested in this topic. For more information and to RSVP, please visit http://dialogperspektiven.de/anmeldung/ or e-mail me at email@example.com.
The NYU Berlin, Bronfman Global and ELES activities are a great way to get to know interesting Berliners. I look forward to facilitating inspiring conversations and hope to get to know many of you!
About the NYU Bronfman Center and the Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Scholarship Fund:
ELES was established in 2009 to support the future leaders of the Jewish community in Germany and Europe and is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education. ELES offers financial support to especially gifted Jewish students and PhD candidates with German citizenship, citizenship of an EU-member state, or the status of an educational resident in the EU. The heart of ELES’ work is the educational program it has designed for and offers to its scholarship holders. Since it was founded, the Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Scholarship Fund has been a strong advocate for a pluralistic, open and confident Judaism which is aware of its traditions. The scholarship fund combines strong commitment with academic excellence for the good of the Jewish community and society as a whole. By sponsoring over 400 gifted Jewish students and PhD candidates, the scholarship fund makes an important contribution to the creation of a new Jewish intellectualism in Europe.
The Edgar M. Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life, which was founded in 1996, engages one of the largest and most creative Jewish student populations in the United States. In the heart of Greenwich Village, the Bronfman Center taps into the energy of New York City to create open and pluralistic communities where students learn, celebrate, and explore their identities and Jewish life. Bronfman Global aims to build a global Jewish consciousness among NYU students who are studying abroad at NYU’s European sites by connecting them to local Jewish communities and to ELES scholarship holders abroad. We hope to offer a vibrant and open Jewish student life for NYU students in Europe, just as we do in New York. To accomplish this goal, the Bronfman Center has partnered up with ELES and NYU’s European global sites.
Click on the links below to learn more about ELES and Bronfman Global:
Bronfman Global on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bronfmanglobal