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Sonja Lahnstein-Kandel © Deutscher Fördererkreis der Universität Haifa e.V.

Woman from Hamburg receives honorary Ph.D. from Haifa University

Sonja Lahnstein-Kandel honoured for her commitment to tolerance, intercultural understanding and minorities in Germany and Israel

The University of Haifa conferred an honorary doctorate degree on Hamburg’s Sonja Lahnstein-Kandel on June 6, 2017. She has now joined the ranks of recipients such as former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt and erstwhile president Johannes Rau. “Mrs Lahnstein-Kandel is receiving this honour for her tireless efforts towards tolerance, intercultural understanding and minorities in Germany and Israel. She is a respected promoter of German-Israeli relations and a true friend of Israel where she has actively fought for the co-existence of Jews and Arabs,” a university statement said.

Commitment to tolerance in Hamburg and Israel

Sonja Lahnstein-Kandel is chair of both the German Friends of the University of Haifa and the German Friends of the Israel Museum. She is also vice chair of the university’s supervisory board. A delighted Lahnstein-Kandel said: “The award – in the footsteps of outstanding Germans who have shown commitment to reconciliation between Israel and Germany – is deeply moving for me. It encourages me to continue my commitment with heart and energy for the future of the past – friendship between Germany and Israel.”

Lahnstein-Kandel is a member of the supervisory board of Hamburg’s Israeli Hospital. She also founded the Hamburg-based youth initiative Step 21 that has promoted tolerance for over 15 years and encourages children and youths to be more self-confident and to stand up to injustice, discrimination and violence.

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