Kerem Hillel receives the DAAD Prize 2023

Kerem Hillel © Yuval Nameri

The Israeli directing student Kerem Hillel is awarded this year's DAAD Prize of the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin. The bachelor student from Tel-Aviv with German and Polish roots is in his 7th semester of studying music theatre directing and is involved in his community in Israel as well as in the Jewish community in Berlin. He initiates projects about the Holocaust and its effect on the 3rd generation, about the political situation in Israel and the life of Israelis abroad.

In the course of his studies, the 28-year-old immersed himself in the history of his family and his country and dedicated his projects to current topics from society. He dealt early on with the inner conflict of Israelis in relation to Germany, which he also felt in his family in view of their history. On the one hand, his grandparents, who had fled, were marked by the horror of the Holocaust, and on the other hand, they sought to preserve their love of German culture. With his works, he wants to give Israelis living in Germany a space for reflection as well as stimulate intercultural discussion between Germans and Israelis. 

"He thinks through and questions the content of the teaching in an intelligent way, which stimulates the teaching immensely and also motivates his fellow students to take the discussions to a high level," says Prof. Claus Unzen about Kerem Hillel. Most recently, he staged his own play "Shame" in July 2023 with songs and lyrics he composed. In March 2024, his next play "Twice Joseph" will be performed at the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts, in which he tells a story about the Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele and the biblical Joseph. His concern is to talk about the subject of the Holocaust within the third generation and to work towards a stronger confrontation.

The DAAD prize of 1,000 euros is awarded once a year to international students for outstanding artistic achievements and social or intercultural commitment. The award ceremony is intended to help put faces to the large numbers of foreign students at German universities and to highlight the mutual enrichment through international exchange.

The award ceremony will take place as part of the school's Excellence Concert on 10 November 2023 in the Krönungskutschen-Saal of the New Marstall.