Singing and dancing competition in Berlin: “I think almost all Jewish children know Jewrovision”

Interview | Singing and dancing competition in Berlin

“Almost all Jewish children know the Jewish vision”


Picture: Central Council of Jews in Germany / Gregor Zielke

Jewrovision – the largest Jewish event in Germany – takes place on Friday in Berlin. Jewish children and young people show up in a singing and dancing competition. A 19-year-old Berliner participates for the seventh time.

rbb | 24: Hi Mrs. Montscher

, at the last Jewrovision, which took place in 2019 – that is, before Corona – Berlin was the winner. This year, the capital has also hosted. You are participating again with the Berlin group. What are you doing? Karina Montscher:

We are almost 30 people, four of them singing and the rest dancing. I’m one of the singers. We turned two songs into one song with a transition. The first song is “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child and the second is “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga. We made it an action that is a bit dark and epic at first. We show how bad it has been for us in the past. And we do not necessarily mean that only in relation to the Corona, but in general. Anti-Semitism is also believed. And then, quite unexpectedly, comes a very happy song, which should show that they wanted us down, but did not succeed. He shows that everything is going on and is very colorful, happy and loud.

Who rewrites the lyrics?

The groups write the lyrics themselves The evaluation is about the performance itself and the lyrics. Each Jewrovision has its own motto. This year it’s “The Show must go on”. When you then register as a city for Jewrovision, you get the requirements that could or should be covered by the texts. The more accurately you hit the motto and the more logical the text is, the better it is.

This is not your first time participating. How often have you been there in total?

I was there for the first time as a spectator in 2014. In 2015, I participated. Not in 2016, but so. In 2017, 2018 and 2019, I was actively involved again. So this is my seventh time overall to experience the event.

How well known is Jewrovision among Jewish children?

I think almost all Jewish children know Jewrovision. But one must not forget that there are also Jewish children who have nothing to do with the Jewish community. So they neither go to a Jewish school nor go to the synagogue. I do not know if the event is also familiar to them. But among all those who go to a Jewish school or go to Jewish holiday camps or who are otherwise active in the community, I can not imagine that there is a single person who does not know this. That’s a very big thing.

So you are not only looking forward to your performance, but it is also a big get-together?

At least. For Jewish children, there are two holiday trips a year nationwide, one in the summer and one in the winter. And after the summer trip, everyone always wants to see each other again. It’s not that easy, especially for young people. Jewrovision is one of the places where people meet again. The word come together describes it perfectly.

In addition to the joy of reunion, do religion and music also play a role?

Religion plays a bit of a role. But most of the children in the Jewish community are, like me, children of former Soviet citizens. And for most of them, religion has unfortunately been lost very heavily. Few of us children are therefore very religious. But since the Jewish vision takes place over a weekend, and Friday to Saturday is the Sabbath, there is prayer both days. You must also dress sabbath-ready. Which means for girls to wear a skirt or dress that goes above the knees.

And these prayers are already obligatory – does everyone go there?

Yes.

I hear from many friends that their parents or grandparents do not allow them to wear a Star of David necklace.

Karina Montscher

from Berlin (* name changed by the editors)

Should non-Jewish spectators come to the entire event, or is it a kind of security for Jewish children?

The whole event takes place throughout the long weekend and this time takes place in Berlin. Only Jewish children participate. But for the performance on May 27, free tickets are also available and anyone who wants can come.

Does the word security otherwise apply to you?

Yes! Especially this year, where Jewrovision takes place in the Estrel Hotel on Sonnenallee in Neukölln. I do not know if it would be really safe if thousands of Jewish children roamed through the center of Neukölln.

You’re from Berlin yourself. How do you feel about it? Do you like living in Berlin?

Actually yes. Yesterday I talked to a fellow student about the fact that I absolutely can not imagine moving away from Berlin.

Are you openly showing signs of your religion?

Yes, I wear a Star of David necklace. But just last weekend I was out with friends in Hasenheide in the evening. As we then walked over Herrmannplatz, I put the chain under my sweater.

They wanted to remain anonymous in the interview. What about your personal security? Anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise in the city. Have you ever been contacted, attacked or teased by your chain?

No, not in real life. Thank God. However, I hear from many friends that their parents or grandparents do not allow them to wear a Star of David necklace. But no one can look at them that they are Jews. And since I went to a Jewish high school, nothing ever happened there. So I can say for my world that everything is fine there. I feel save. However, I am always aware that there may be something.

But of course I also hear other things. In fact, there seems to be an increase in online attacks. And that’s a global problem. I can not think of a country where there is no anti-Semitism.

Thank you for the interview.


Name changed by the editorial staff The interview was conducted by Sabine Prieß, rbb | 24 Broadcast: rbbKultur, 27 May 2022, at 07.10

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