If you have to ask your mom if you can join a rap band, chances are you’re not ready.
But that was not the case for Yoram Bejorano, of the Hamburg based band Coincidence that plays Yiddish melodies, mostly from the past, when approached by Kutlu Yurtseven, a Turkish immigrant rapper from the Cologne based Microphone Mafia.
That’s because the leader of Yoram’s band was his mom, Auschwitz/Holocaust survivor Esther Bejarano.
Esther Bejarano, it turned out, thought hip-hop music “was really a bit too loud,” but also said she saw it as a good way to reach out to Germany’s youth.
“We want to keep the memories of the Holocaust alive, but at the same time look into the future and encourage young people to take a stand against new Nazis,” said Bejarano. “I know what racism can lead to and the members of Microphone Mafia are immigrants and have experienced their share of discrimination as well.” (see the full article by Kirsten Grieshaber/AP here)
Both young and old were committed to a common ideal, combatting prejudice and promoting religious harmony. To make it work, however they needed to go beyond their superficial similarities and differences to develop a true partnership that embraces seemingly conflicting musical styles and significant age and cultural differences but that shares a similar ideal and willingness to act.
They are a living example of the power of employee engagement in the workforce and the creativity produced by diverse teams where all members feel valued and included.
The result has been fantastic, with a documentary, a CD and sold out shows across Germany that attract everoyone from teens to seniors.
Look around you. Who might you venture out with to change the world?