The American Jewish Committee (AJC) and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) welcomed this year’s participants of the study program ‘Promoting Tolerance’ for young politicians and representatives of civil societies in Central, East and Southeast Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia at a reception in Washington, DC. Sonya Weisburd, Assistant Director, International Jewish Affairs, AJC, and Claus Gramckow, Representative USA and Canada, FNF, introduced the ‘Promoting Tolerance’ program to friends and partners of the AJC and the FNF. The longstanding partnership emerged in 1992: The program aims to promote a climate of tolerance, pluralism, and respect, exchange ‘best practice’ experiences of multicultural societies, and encourage cross-border co-operation. The study trip to the US is part of the diverse program and offers the participants an opportunity to become familiar with the American models of inter-ethnic coexistence, make valuable contacts, exchange useful examples, and replicate them back home. The US, with its diverse ethnic and religious population, has long been engaged in developing strategies to reduce prejudice and promote an appreciation for pluralism.
However, the program’s most valuable component is its participants. Like in the years before, the FNF has identified emerging political leaders for this year’s study tour, who introduced themselves during the reception. The energetic, diverse, and talented group is looking forward to make valuable contacts throughout the trip and gain useful insights. The program in Washington, DC and the many opportunities to network provided a great starting point for the study tour.