Criticism of racism and antisemitism


Translation: Together against Racism and Antisemitism (banners hanging on the Westend and Riedberg campuses in April)

In a world still grappling with deep-rooted racism and antisemitism, it is important to take a visible stand.. As a microcosm of society, universities reflect its diversity, but also its conflicts, which is why we must take action against racism and antisemitism. As an educational institution, we are  responsible for teaching values such as critical thinking, empathy and tolerance. Combating racism and antisemitism is thus part of our educational mandate. As Goethe University, we want to ensure a respectful and safe environment for students, employees and guests, in which everyone can learn and work free from racism and antisemitism, regardless of their origin and religion.

In accordance with its mission statement, Goethe-University opposes racism, nationalism and anti-Semitism. The university has also given itself the task of preventing or eliminating any form of discrimination in its anti-discrimination guidelines.

Overview of current activities and events

Senate working group „Rassismus- und Antisemitismuskritische Universität“ (RAU) (University critical of racism and anti-Semitism)

In July 2023, the Senate Working Group „Rassismus- und Antisemitismuskritische Universität“ (RAU) (University Critical of Racism and Anti-Semitism (RAU) was founded at Goethe University. The working group is supported by the Senate Commission „Frauenförderung, Gleichstellung und Diversität" (Promotion of Women, Equality and Diversity).

The Senate Working Group consists of professors, students, academic staff and administrative employees of Goethe University as well as experts from various non-university institutions. It is a space for dialogue in order to develop strategies and measures on how the issues of racism and anti-Semitism can be more integrated into the university's structures. The aim of the working group is to develop concrete recommendations for action to counteract discrimination, in particular racism and anti-Semitism. Its work is initially scheduled to run until the End of February 2025.

New Coordination Office for Migration Research, Anti-Discrimination, (Anti-)Racism, and Postcolonial Studies at the Cornelia Goethe Center 

From April 2024, research at Goethe University in the fields of migration, anti-discrimination, (anti-)racism and postcolonial research with a special focus on gender will be bundled, networked and communicated to the public at the Cornelia Goethe Centre.

Event series "Discourse and Resonance: Academic Teaching and Jewish Perspectives" (15.05.24 | 03.07.24 | 30.10.24 | 11.12.24)

The events are designed for teaching staff at Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. It is carried out in cooperation between Goethe University (Dilara Kanbıcak, Prof. Dr. Harry Harun Behr) and the Jewish Academy (Sabena Donath) and initially comprises four dates in 2024. It will conclude with a moderated excursion to Frankfurt's Westend Synagogue. (The events will take place in German.) (Website in German)

Public lecture series “How (un)political is the university? Lecture series on remembrance culture, antisemitism and democracy" (28.05.24 to 09.07.2024)

Goethe University, the Department of Education and the Jewish Academy of the Central Council of Jews in Germany are organizing a public lecture series with renowned experts along the three research fields of remembrance culture, anti-Semitism and democracy. The lectures will take place on Tuesdays from 6 - 8 pm on Campus Westend, Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 5, Hörsaalzentrum HZ 6. (The events will take place in German.) (Website in German)

Angela Davis Guest Professorship Summer 2024

The Angela Davis Guest Professorship for International Gender and Diversity Studies serves to promote international and interdisciplinary cooperation in the field of gender and diversity and is based at the Cornelia Gothe Centre.

The visiting professorship is periodically filled by internationally renowned scholar in women's and gender studies. This summer, the professorship will also focus on the theme of racism (critique).

Diversity Day 2024

Under the motto "Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Intersectionality," we warmly invite you to join us in celebrating the nationwide Diversity Day 2024. On May 28, 2024, there will be a lecture and a panel discussion with Dr. Rena Onat, Rabia Küçükşahin, Prof. Dr. Catherine Whittaker, Dr. Veronika Duma, and Prof. Dr. Arnim Lühken. (Website in German)

Past events

The terrorist attacks on Israel on 7 October 2023 have deeply shaken us and led to a strong polarization in society and universities.

Also at the Goethe University there are people who are directly and painfully affected by the current developments due to their origin, family or friendship ties. Some Jewish students report that they are currently unable to pursue their studies undisturbed. In seminar contexts, too, there are sometimes heated discussions and hurtful and discriminatory statements. These can reinforce the traumatic experiences of individuals and promote a feeling of insecurity in public and university spaces.

Considering the complexity of the conflict, these discussions can quickly lead to uncertainty among teachers. We would like to discuss with you how you can remain able to speak, maintain your orientation and recognize and counter anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim discrimination in your own learning environment.


Sabena Donath is the director of the Jewish Academy in Frankfurt, which has been under construction since summer 2021. Since 2012, she has headed the education department of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, which has set itself the task of establishing a Jewish education program in Germany. In this context, she works and teaches significantly on anti-Semitism, transgenerational effects of the Shoah and plural Jewish presences in post-migrant society.  

Harry Harun Behr is Professor of Educational Science with a focus on Islamic religious education and didactics of Islamic religious education at Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. He is spokesman for the German Society for Islamic-Theological Studies and a member of the Council for Migration.


Development of tools, events and trainings

Dr. Thuy Loan Nguyen

Diversity Policies Officer

Project: Counteracting discrimination: structurally and sustainably (ELLVIS)

E-Mail: E-Mail:

Trainings, academic counseling and university education

Dilara Kanbiçak

Diversity Policies Officer

Projects: Faculties: Competent for Diversity! (ELLVIS) and DigiTeLL


Anti-discrimination office

Jana Arnold

Anti-Discrimination Officer

Phone:  +49 69 798-18134