VIENNA (Aug. 25)
Austria’s minister for youth, family and environmental affairs, believes that Jewish youth with family ties to Austria know both too little and too much about her country.
That’s why Maria Rauch-Kallat invited a group of Israelis with roots in Austria to come see the country for themselves.
She extended the invitation last spring when she was an official guest of Yossi Sarid, Israel’s minister of the environment.
A group of 20 Israelis, ages 15 to 27, arrived this week for a two-week visit.
“I want these young people to look for the roots of their own family histories,” she said. “This confrontation with one’s own past is a big challenge, because this past was so painful.”
The trip will include an extensive tour of the Austrian provinces, a rock concert and a meeting with Vienna Mayor Helmut Zilk.