Report on PCCA’s Annual Meeting

by Christoph Freytag back to Newsletter 1-2018

On September 2nd, the Board of PCCA met in Jerusalem for two and a half days. On the evening before, Mira Ehrlich-Ginor and Shmuel Ehrlich invited the Board for a warm welcoming dinner at the house. The board met for the first time in its new composition, with Nadine Tchelebi, Oren Kaplan and Christoph Freytag as new members. The meeting took place in the Max Eitingon Institute of the Israel Psychoanalytic Society (IPS).

The board started its work with investing considerable time into getting to know each other and all board members introduced themselves, their personal and professional background as well as their thoughts about their motivation to contribute to PCCA. There are now three “generations” within the board. The founders of PCCA and initiators of the earlier Nazareth conferences, members that joined around 2007, when PCCA was institutionalized as a registered association, and now the new members. While inspired and energized by the presence of new board members there was also a strong feeling of maintaining and protecting the close relationships to former board members and continuing to co-operate on certain projects with them. The Board discussed also the opportunity of involving more and more supporting members that will contribute to PCCA’s work financially as well as with projects and ideas. A steering group for this network of supporting members has been established in Berlin with the Chairperson at its centre, Ekkehard Rähmer and Bettina Jesberg cooperating.

Louisa Diana Brunner, in her capacity as Director of PCCA’s 2018 Conference, reported on progress of the Conference preparations. In consideration of the recent phenomena such as the vote for Brexit, the election of D. Trump, the growing support for right-wing populists in European elections, the violent terrorist attacks etc., the theme of the Conference will be "Exclusion, Resentment, and the Return of the Repressed – Europe in a Globalized world”. The Conference will take place from August 30th to September 3rd 2018 at the Hotel Ernst Sillem Hoeve in the Netherlands. Paul Hoggett has agreed to be the Associated Director and Martijn Van der Speck the Administrator. Staff will include both, PCCA members and non-members. The Board discussed the relatedness of the Conference’s theme to PCCA’s work in the series of “the past in the present” and how exploring the aftermath of the Holocaust is important in order to better understand Europe’s challenges of today. The Board continued to focus on suitable measures for marketing the Conference as well as the importance of finding suitable sponsors in this context. It became very clear that PCCA's work and successful Conference events are not possible without active sponsors, while protecting the non-profit and charitable status of PCCA. The Board asked its members, supporting members as well as everybody else wishing to do so to engage.

Veronika Grueneisen joined during the second day and reported about PCCA’s project involving also Fakhry Davids: Following a number of experiences with Palestinians during PCCA’s conferences, they have reached out to various NGOs and individuals in Palestine with the idea to organize a group relations conference for Palestinians to work on issues relating to the Palestinian experience and identity. PCCA strongly wishes to continue its support to this project within the boundaries of given financial constraints.

The Board meeting continued with discussions about internal affairs, the PCCA newsletter and communication strategies. The new logo, designed by Daphne Orner, was presented, discussed and agreed upon in principle. Following reports of the treasury and auditors, the Board appointed Christoph Freytag as new treasurer as Louisa desired to step down from this role having assumed responsibilities for ten years. The Board expressed its gratitude to Louisa and elected her together with Shmuel Ehrlich as auditors.

During a concluding discussion around PCCA’s outlook and future initiatives, the Board discussed the perspective of having several different conferences for the future. The development of the European perspective should not prevent PCCA to think as well about other formats, such as the Palestinian project, the Germans-Israelis as well as specific regional projects. It was agreed to meet again from November 30th to December 2nd 2018 in Frankfurt.

Apart from the special atmosphere, created by the surrounding of the Max Eitingon institute, a visit to the old city of Jerusalem complemented the Board meeting. Since the chamber music festival was ongoing at that time, the Board realized the opportunity to listen to a deeply impressive performance of Shostakovich’s second trio with the brilliant Martha Algerich, Guy Braunstein and Kyril Zlotnikov.