Common Ground

Common Ground was initially conceived merely as a space on this Web site that could provide a forum for writers and thinkers who concern themselves with Jewish-German dialog. We wished to give voice to Germans who are involved in Jewish affairs, and those in the Jewish community who care about recognizing t'shuvah (atonement-reconciliation) when and where it occurs. Tikkun olam.

The results of the Dreyfus Conference held at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio convinced us that we should expand beyond these parameters to include all communities where voices speak "past" one another. If you are interested in repairing the world - tikkun olam - and have something to say along these lines, please see our submission guidelines and then contact us with your query.

We invite personal essays from serious scholars in every discipline for this part of our work. As soon as eight to twelve essays have been received and approved for publication, we will release the first volume. Each new volume will follow as appropriate essays come in.

For an idea of what we deem appropriate, please read Yes To No and A Tale of Two Resisters. Please, please expand far beyond the scope of those essays, and write in your own voice!

We have one primary, hard-and-fast rule: Nothing that overtly proselytizes or claims superiority of one religion or philosophy of life over another. This project is about finding common ground between faiths, philosophies, peoples, and points of view.

We wish to encourage people to believe in the future, to find historical or current-day examples of successful conflict resolution and peace negotiations. Once we begin to explore the victories of the past, we can better envision a hopeful tomorrow.
Suggested topics (and use these suggestions simply as a brainstorming tool):

  • Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts
  • Active racial or religious reconciliation efforts in your community
  • Victim-offender programs
  • Cultural diplomacy
  • Work to bring atonement and reconciliation in Japan, Korea, and China
  • Post-apartheid South Africa, and (the staple that got this anthology going)
  • Jewish-German or German-Jewish programs, whether between Germany and the American Jewish community, or Israel and Germany.