January 27, 2020

Deadline: September 22, 2019



To mark their 20th anniversary, the Obermayer Awards are expanding. The new Anniversary Awards focus on those who, through innovative efforts, find ways to use the lessons of history to fight against current prejudice and racism. These individuals and organizations are changing attitudes that lead to intolerance, as well as fostering the kind of understanding among different cultures that prevents prejudice from taking root.

The Anniversary Awards are particularly timely, given the tide of hate speech and prejudice—particularly anti-Semitism—that has been rising across Germany, Europe, and elsewhere. Old stereotypes and distortions have been spread more and more openly. At the same time, many individuals and organizations in Germany have been fighting back and deserve to be recognized.

Information about the Obermayer German Jewish History Awards


The Anniversary Awards will be presented to individuals and groups based on the following criteria.

Core Criterion: The work of the individuals or organizations must change attitudes/beliefs, build human connections, and/or increase intercultural understanding to fight existing prejudice/intolerance or prevent it from taking root

In addition, each candidate will be evaluated along several dimensions:

  • Extraordinary work: Does their work go far beyond what would normally be expected in a position, job, or role?
  • Recognition: What recognition have they or their organization received? (We particularly welcome projects that have not yet been widely recognized.)
  • Innovation: Does their work represent a novel or innovative approach or build on an existing approach in a novel way?
  • Potential: Does their work show potential to be copied, replicated or applied to other situations and geographies?
  • Effectiveness: Does their work have (or show great potential for) a significant positive impact?
  • Staying power: Has the their work and impact been shown over extended period of time?


Unlike the original Obermayer German Jewish History Awards, we are accepting nominations two different ways:

  • Third-party nominations: An individual or organization can nominate someone else for the award
  • Self-nominations: An individual or organization may nominate themselves for the award.  

The application form can be found at http://www.obermayer.us/award/anniversary-award/anniversary-award.docx.

Application deadline for the Anniversary Awards is September 22, 2019. Awardees will be notified by the end of October 2019.

The panel to select awardees for the Anniversary Award is chaired by Sara Nachama, executive founding director of Touro College Berlin.


The formal award ceremony for the Obermayer German Jewish History Awards and the Anniversary Awards will take place in Berlin on January 27, 2020 at the Abgeordnetenhaus, the home of the Berlin Parliament, and it is preceded by a banquet the previous evening. The award ceremony is held in January to coincide with the commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day – January 27, 1945. Recordings of recent ceremonies are available on YouTube.


The Obermayer Awards are administered and supported by Widen the Circle, a division of the Obermayer Foundation established in 2019. It seeks to widen the circle of tolerance, reconciliation, and intercultural understanding, particularly in places where there is a history of extreme persecution of one group by another. It works to combat prejudice by fostering a shared understanding of the past that promotes healing, as well as opens a path to dialog and mutual trust moving forward.

All  queries should be sent, preferably by email, to:

award@obermayer.us or to: 

Widen the Circle
Obermayer Foundation, Inc.
15 Grey Stone Path
Dedham, MA 02026