The Central Welfare Office of Jews in Germany (ZWST)
The Central Welfare Board of Jews in Germany (Die Zentralwohlfahrtsstelle der Juden in Deutschland) is a Jewish Welfare Organization, representing the Jewish Federal Associations, the Jewish Communities and the Union of Jewish Women in the area of Jewish care. As a national union of Jewish welfare, the ZWST is the head organization of Jewish care in Germany. It also is a member of The Federal Association of Non-statutory Welfare (BAGFW). The ZWST team consists of 120 regular workers, and is also supported by freelancers and volunteers. Fully in line with its motto: “Zedakah” – the Hebrew synonym for charity – the ZWST follows the social and religious understanding of charity in Judaism. “Zedakah”, the commitment to help the needy with the view of achieving social justice, is, according to Judaism a “Mitzvah” – a religious imperative in Hebrew, and as such a pivotal religious commitment. Thus, the activities of the ZWST as an agency providing Jewish care are based on a concept of charity which is anchored in Jewish religious legislation.
- Providing support and counseling to victims of antisemitic discrimination and hate crimes, as well as their families.
- Educating the public about the history and impact of antisemitism, through workshops, training sessions, and public awareness campaigns.
- Promoting interfaith dialogue and understanding, through partnerships with other religious organizations and institutions.
- Advocating for policies and legislation that protect Jewish individuals and communities from discrimination and hate crimes.
- Supporting research and studies that explore the root causes of antiseemitism, and developing strategies to address these issues.