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Lists of Frequently Asked Questions

On HSF

What is HSF?

Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF, in German: Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung) is a German political foundation (for more information see below) that is ideologically affiliated with the conservative political party Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU). Since its founding in 1967, HSF has been engaged in democratic and civic education. This educational work is based on an idea of man that incorporates the free development of personality and personal responsibility just as much as social responsibility and solidarity.

What is the CSU?

The CSU is a Christian-democratic, centre-right and conservative Bavarian political party. The party’s work looks “gratefully backwards, courageously forwards, and faithfully upwards”, as famously stated by the long-time CSU Chairman Franz Josef Strauß. Franz Josef Strauß intensively dealt with developments in the Middle East early on and knew Shimon Peres since 1957.

Who was Hanns Seidel?

The Foundation is named after Hanns Seidel, the former Prime Minister of Bavaria (1957-1960) and former CSU Chairman (1955-1961). Hanns Seidel played a key role in shaping the CSU and made a significant contribution to the modernization of the party. He also publicly supported a “homeland for Jews and Arabs, both of whom have had rights of domicile to this place for thousands of years” (Munich, 27 April 1958).

Who is heading HSF?

Markus Ferber MEP is serving as President of HSF, Oliver Jörg as the Foundation's General Secretary. For more information on both, please see here. Dr. Susanne Luther is director of the Institute for International Cooperation.

Is HSF a member of any greater network?

Amongst others, HSF is a member foundation of the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, the official think tank of the centre-right European People's Party.

Where can I find out more about the organizational structure, awards, and history of HSF?

For more background information on HSF, please see its German About Us page

Why is HSF Munich-based?

HSF is a CSU-associated organization. CSU operates only in Bavaria and is headquartered in Munich.

On HSF Jerusalem

Since when has HSF worked in Jerusalem?

HSF has been working in Israel since 1979 and in the Palestinian Territories since 1994.

Why is this project office located in Jerusalem?

The Foundation chose Jerusalem as its location because it operates in both Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Jerusalem is a central and historical city renowned for its economic, political, and cultural activities, making it an ideal base for the HSF to carry out its work in the region. The English name “HSF Jerusalem” reflects this choice while remaining internationally understandable and politically neutral.

Does HSF work in the Gaza Strip as well?

Currently, HSF works in Israel and the West Bank only.

What are HSF Jerusalem’s goals?

HSF aims to contribute to promoting better understanding in the Middle East Peace Process, sustainable development of rural regions, and environmental awareness in the Palestinian Territories. This is achieved through three specific project goals: the promotion of (1) understanding between Jews and Arabs; (2) civil society participation; and (3) sustainable development of rural regions and more environmentally conscious behavior in the West Bank. With its work, HSF also fosters trilateral and bilateral dialogue and exchange between important German, Israeli and Palestinian stakeholders as well as outstanding students with international scholarships.

On which societal level does HSF Jerusalem work?

HSF's collaborations take place on various levels of society, including local grassroots initiatives in both rural and urban areas, regional and national projects, as well as international and global dialogue. These projects are interconnected and mutually complementary.

Who does HSF work with in Israel and the Palestinian Territories?

In the pursuit of democracy, peace, and development, HSF proudly partners with individuals, NGOs, schools, national colleges and universities, ministries, parliaments, and international stakeholders. You can find a list of HSF Jerusalem’s collaborations here.

Who provides the funds for HSF Jerusalem's work?

All funds for HSF Jerusalem come from the German national parliament Bundestag and are allocated through the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). HSF Jerusalem does not rely on any other donors to maintain its neutrality and independence.

Does HSF support any specific party politics in Israel or the Palestinian Territories?

HSF does not work in favor of any specific local political party, party political movement, group, or individual. As a German political foundation, HSF aims to support democratic development in general.

Does HSF partner with NGOs supporting BDS or extremism?

HSF’s focuses on strengthening partners who work for democracy, peace, and development. It does not partner with NGOs supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel or any organizations, groups or individuals promoting extremism or terrorism.

How can my organization become a partner of HSF Jerusalem?

If your organization is involved in promoting better understanding in the Middle East Peace Process or sustainable development and environmental awareness in the West Bank, you are welcome to share your project proposal with HSF at jerusalem(at)hss.de. Please note that HSF follows specific rules and regulations, and project activities must align with the Focus Areas and goals mentioned above.

We are already funded by another German political foundation. Can we receive support from HSF Jerusalem as well?

Typically, one partner organization can only be funded by one German political foundation.

How is HSF Jerusalem legally registered?

HSF Jerusalem is registered as a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) in Israel. As a PBC, HSF Jerusalem acts in manners which further its legal purposes, including assisting partners in implementing projects that promote the Foundation's goals (e.g. supporting projects of HSF in the area of ecology in the West Bank).

Where can I find news of HSF Jerusalem?

Until 2022, news articles of HSF Jerusalem have been published here. The social media and Twitter accounts of HSF Jerusalem are linked on the home page.

Can I work with HSF Jerusalem?

Yes, if you possess a valid Israeli working permit. HSF Jerusalem regularly publishes job vacancies and internships on this website. Please ensure that you submit your complete application documents exactly as per the job advertisements.

Why are the formal requirements for applications so specific and rigid?

Formal compliance serves as the initial pre-selection criteria at HSF Jerusalem. Following all formal requirements, such as document lengths or types, is necessary for any application.

Are internships with HSF Jerusalem employment relationships?

Internships are part of a student’s academic and professional training and are not considered employment relationships. Interns are typically advanced guest students or recent graduates who gain valuable skills and supervised practical experience. HSF Germany provides a modest monthly student allowance to cover essential expenses such as travel costs, but interns do not receive a salary from HSF Jerusalem.

What's your linktree?

You may find our official linktree here (to be updated).

On German political foundations

What is a German political foundation?

A German political foundation (in German: Politische Stiftung) is a party-associated and mostly taxpayer-money funded organization in Germany. Each foundation is ideologically associated with a party that has been elected to seats in the German federal parliament Bundestag as a constant political power. For more information on the relationship between German political foundations and the Bundestag, see Geschichte, Struktur und Wirken der politischen Stiftungen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland and Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (both in German). All foundations intend to strengthen and stabilize democratic development through education.

Why political education?

For democratic development political education is required. German foundations offer education on democracy to create an open society that can participate in the democratic development process with as much knowledge as possible. Since the understanding of democracy needs to be secured again with each generation, democratic contexts always need to be made clear, especially to young people.

Why do German political foundations work abroad at all?

We live in a globalized and multilateral world: the more people and governments interact, the more they need to work together responsibly and create lasting networks. Non-governmental organizations like foundations also offer the possibility to deal with social and political issues worldwide at the most immediate level, namely with the citizens. The slogan of HSF is: in the service of democracy, peace, and development. Therefore, HSF stands for a comprehensive approach in the field of development cooperation.

Are German political foundations governmental or non-governmental organizations?

From an international perspective, the German political foundations are unique and they are non-governmental: they are not owned or funded by (but funded via) the German government’s executive branch and they are financially, legally, and organizationally independent of each political party. As independent non-profit organizations, the foundations work by order of the German federal parliament and they receive most of their funding from there as well. Nevertheless, all programs are independent from the German federal parliament as well.

Are German foundations part of the German development cooperation?

German foundations like HSF are part of the broader German development cooperation and receive their funding via the BMZ. Their central development-policy task is the sustainable promotion of democracy and civil society through educational work.

On scholarships

Can HSF finance my academic studies in Germany?

Yes, HSF offers scholarships to young Israeli and Palestinian graduates and postgraduates who are exceptional in their academic performance and can speak German well. The Foundation financially supports them with up to 1,200 Euro per month for up to two years plus additional travel allowances etc. For more information, please see the relevant web page.

Why the German Scholarship Program?

HSF's scholarships promote talented individuals. They enrich studies – and not just financially. More than 1,000 fellows are currently receiving a scholarship from HSF’s Institute for Scholarship Programs (in German). These scholarships consist of both conceptual and financial support to contribute to the education of personally and academically qualified young academics and to reward outstanding scholarly achievements in doctoral programmes.

Does HSF offer scholarships for interns at the German Bundestag?

HSF Jerusalem is fully Bundestag funded and proudly supports the official scholarship program of the German Bundestag. Young German speakers from Israel and the Palestinian Territories are encouraged to apply for it. This program is directly offered by the Bundestag, not by HSF.

Other questions

Can you provide me with high-resolution photos of Bavaria?

You may find great high-resolution photos of the Free State of Bavaria at the photo page (terms of use apply) of Bayern Tourismus Marketing.

Where may I find out more about Bavarian-Israeli relations?

The Free State of Bavaria’s Israel Office in Tel Aviv contributes to the continous expansion of Bavarian-Israeli relations. Its central tasks include the promotion of economic exchange and bilateral relations in the fields of culture, education, science, and innovation.

Where can I find out more about Germany's engagement in the Middle East?

For more information on bilateral German-Israeli relations, please visit the respective web pages of the German Foreign Office and the German Embassy Tel Aviv. A comprehensive overview on the history of German-Israeli relations can be found here (in German). German-Israeli Cooperation in terms of science and research is summarized here. For more information on bilateral German-Palestinian relations, kindly visit the pages of the German Foreign Office and the German Representative Office Ramallah. For detailed information on the official German development cooperation in the Palestinian Territories, please see the specific web sites of BMZ, GIZ, and KfW.

What is HSF's role in Germany's international engagement?

HSF may not be a big ship in the vast sea of the German development cooperation. But due to its lean structures, efficient processes and quick decision-making, it serves as an agile speedboat in German foreign politics: being directly mandated by the Bundestag, HSF may work independently of bilateral government agreements, which makes it a unique actor in German development cooperation.

More questions?

Feel free to contact HSF Jerusalem via e-mail at jerusalem(at)hss.de. Usually, you can reach the Jerusalem office from Sunday to Friday from 09:00 to 17:30 (GMT+3). We are looking forward to hearing from you!