Ask your question here. Or visit the FAQ section to find out more about The House of One, the fundraising campaign, the initiators, and the governing boards.
Submitted questions by our users
I really like the idea of this project. But is having three different religions together religiously allowed?
There will be three different prayerrooms in the House of One, which alllow people of different religions to withdraw and pray according to their own traditions. The ideas is NOT to merge all religions, but on the contrary: to meet each other open minded and in dignity.
Kann ich auch per Überweisung (und nicht online) spenden? Was wird aus dem Geld, wenn es nicht zur Verwirklichung des Projekts kommen sollte?
Ja, Sie können auch per Überweisung spenden. Unsere Kontoverbindung finden Sie auf der Spenden-Seite. Sollte die Spendensumme nicht erreicht werden, werden die eingegangenen Spenden satzungsgemäß für Projekte verwendet, die „zum gegenseitigen Verständnis der Religionen durch friedensfördernde, sozial gerechte und die Schöpfung erhaltene Formen des Zusammenlebens beitragen“ (§2 der Satzung). Weitere Informationen zur Mittelverwendung.
I want to give a donation as a birthday present with the donation certificate issued on the name of the birthday boy/girl. How does it work?
There are two ways to give away a stone donation:1) Create a login under the name of the birthday child, then choose the payment method bank transfer and then transfer from your own account. You must then add donation for ... (name of child birth days) in the transfer details. 2) Or make a donation in your own name. Ignore the automatically generated donation certificate. Send us an email request and We will send you a blank certificate in the mail. You can then enter the name of the recipient by hand. The shipment takes place after receipt of payment.
Questions about the idea and concept behind The House of One
Why do we need a project like The House of One?
Religions influence societies all over the world, in numerous different ways and to many different degrees. What’s more, as the world becomes more globalized, followers of different religions are increasingly coming into contact with one another. While many of these encounters are peaceful, others can lead to fierce opposition or even violence.
With The House of One, three faiths are choosing to establish a new kind of space – one where innovative architecture creates a unique atmosphere in which Jews, Christians, and Muslims can co-exist peacefully and without prejudice. Almost everyone who hears about our project welcomes the idea immediately. In fact, people often ask us why no one has thought of this simple (in the very best sense of the word) idea before. Responses like this show us that we’ve hit on something good and that many people believe the world needs a project like The House of One.
Is The House of One only for members of the three monotheistic religions?
No. The three holy rooms within The House of One will be arranged around a central, communal room. This will ensure that the project achieves much more than just an inter-faith discussion that excludes everyone else.
People involved in culture, business and politics, followers of other religions and, especially, people who do not identify with any religion are welcome to come to The House of One and help fill the communal room with life. Our aim is for this to inspire fruitful exchanges between these groups and the three religions. The House of One will be built in Berlin-Mitte, close to the city’s many cultural and political institutions, and the Humboldt Forum which will be housed in the reconstructed city palace. As such, the area will be an inspiring environment for open-minded, globally relevant encounters between these diverse groups.
Is The House of One aiming to create a single, standardized religion?
No, our intention is quite the opposite. We do not want to standardize the religions and we are not seeking any kind of lowest theological or ethical common denominator. The architecture of The House of One is a clear expression of this. The three separate holy rooms will allow each religion to observe and nurture its own practices in a manner fitting with our times. However, by coming into contact with the other two faiths and with society as a whole, each religion will gain an outside perspective on itself that will deepen and enrich its identity.
What kind of things will The House of One be used for?
The House of One will be a house of prayer and learning. As a house of prayer, it will allow each religion to practice in separate holy rooms. However, the religions also understand that The House of One will be a popular public place in the heart of Berlin. They will therefore have to find new ways of making their faiths accessible to outsiders whose interest in the project is likely to range from curiosity to skepticism. The learning function of The House of One will focus mainly on the communal room in the center of the building and be based on a broad understanding of the task: Learning will happen as the religions encounter one another, and as they come into contact with society as a whole (through talks, festivals, exhibitions, readings, concerts, and workshops). In this sense, The House of One will be a laboratory for developing mutual understanding and respect.
Are there plans to build versions of The House of One in other locations?
The idea behind House of One was developed very much with its specific Berlin location in mind. It would therefore be hard to transfer this background and the architectural concept to other locations. However, we are hoping that we can engage with, learn from, and help other initiatives and institutions (wherever they are in the world) that share our aims of bringing about peace between different faiths.
Questions about where the donations go and how they are managed
How much will it cost to build The House of One?
In order to build The House of One, we need donations totaling 43.5 Million Euros.
What exactly will my donation pay for?
Your donation will be used to finance the construction of The House of One, from the planning stage to the completed building. On top of that, a small share of your donation will help cover advertising and management costs. However, as we are receiving a generous amount of pro-bono support from our sponsors, we can keep these costs to a minimum.
We are very much aware that our donors, sponsors, and supporters are putting an enormous amount of trust in us. We are therefore committed to handling the funds responsibly and with a high degree of transparency. For a precise overview of how we are using your donations and a detailed breakdown of all donations, click here:
Why does The House of One need to collect donations?
The House of One project was initiated in 2010 by a group of small institutions from the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim communities in Berlin. The partners invested a great deal of personal effort and financial resources in completing the first steps of the project, which included handling the preliminary conceptual work and running the international architectural competition in 2012.
The architectural competition and widespread global approval have caused the project to have grown so much over the past two years that the Berlin partners can no longer manage even the construction by themselves.
As a group of small institutions, we need your help, which is why we are asking you to become a part of The House of One by joining our efforts to build it. Every donation counts, no matter how small. This began as a grassroots, crowdfunded project and we want to make sure those shoots keep growing in the same way. That’s why we have put individual support at the very heart of The House of One and made it the defining factor of its success.
When I donate, am I buying real bricks for The House of One?
No. The House of One will be made of real bricks, and we’ll need about 4.35 million to get the job done.
However, the bricks that your donations buy are symbolic. They stand for the construction as a whole and all the various materials that will go into completing it.
How can I support/promote The House of One?
How exactly do donors become part of The House of One, and how are they rewarded for their contribution?
By purchasing a symbolic brick, donors become co-builders of The House of One. As a thank-you and expression of friendship, we send each donor a blessing. You will also be rewarded with a lasting connection to The House of One. During the groundbreaking ceremony, the names of all the donors will be placed in the ground with the first stone. Also, the messages, wishes, and prayers that donors can submit when they purchase a brick will be documented and made available in The House of One. When the construction work is finished, everyone who helped make the building a reality will be able to find their message at The House of One and can add a new one if they wish. And lastly, your blessing, which doubles up as your donation certificate, will ensure that you are always made very welcome at The House of One.
Your prayer requests will become part of the liturgical celebrations held by the three religions and will testify to the global fellowship that exists within each of the faiths. One of our main goals is, by running initiatives and working with people who are committed to promoting peaceful understanding between the three religions, to create an international community in which we get to know one another, listen to one another and, where necessary, help one another.
Have any high-profile individuals pledged their support for The House of One?
One of the reasons the project has come this far is because we have numerous dedicated people on hand who are willing to lend us their support entirely free of charge. These include legal advisors and individuals who have made donations in kind to help us prepare for the fundraising campaign. The initiators provided all the financing at the start of the project, but now a small group of people in Berlin are covering half the costs of the fundraising campaign. We are extremely grateful for this. Encouraged by everything we have achieved already, we are now taking the next step and asking you, wherever you are, to support us by buying one or more bricks.
Naturally, we are also delighted that a number of high-profile individuals have made it clear how close The House of One is to their hearts.
Is the project receiving support from Germany at a national or state level?
The idea and concept behind The House of One has been extremely well received, both nationally and within the state of Berlin. Both levels are providing us with extensive, non-financial support. The state of Berlin is one of the founding members of our association, a member of the Federal Ministry of the Interior is on our supervisory board, and the Federal Foreign Office is assisting us with the fundraising campaign. The district of Berlin-Mitte is also giving us the site where The House of One will be built. We are very grateful to all the participants mentioned here, whose generous involvement is helping to move our project forward.
Will funds from Germany’s church tax go towards building The House of One?
The Evangelical Church is providing us conceptual support and human resources to the extent that it can. This is extremely helpful in our efforts to grow the project and gain widespread acceptance for it. However, none of the revenue from Germany’s church tax will go into building The House of One.
Why isn’t it possible to make a donation to specific parts of The House of One?
From the outset, we, the project leaders, wanted all decisions affecting the House of One to be reached jointly and equally. This commitment is reflected in the structure of the association and has been defining our day-to-day activities since 2011. With that in mind, splitting the fundraising campaign and making each religion responsible for the financing of its own holy room would be a backwards step.
This is why every donor will become a co-builder for The House of One. Work on designing the interior of each part of the building will be undertaken jointly and will respect the unique character of each faith.
What happens to my money if the project doesn’t reach its target of 43.5 million Euros?
We are delighted to have been able to inspire so many people with our idea over the past few months. We very much hope that this global trend continues, and that we receive enough support to be able to begin construction in 2019.
The architecture of The House of One has been designed in such a way that the work can happen in separate stages to match the progress of the fundraising campaign. For instance, 10 million euros will allow us to complete the first phase of construction, which will provide us with a building that can be used as The House of One until more funds are available. This set-up also gives us the option of catching our breath, so to speak, before we begin the next stage.
If, however, we fail to reach 10 million euros, the funds that we have received will go towards projects that, in compliance with our bylaws, “encourage mutual understanding between the religions by pursuing forms of coexistence that respect all life and are peaceful and socially just” (Article 2 of the bylaws).
Is my donation tax deductible?
Our foundation benefits from tax relief (tax office decision of Sept. 1, 2016), which means donations are tax deductible in Germany. Upon request we will send you a donation receipt for the total amount during the first months of the following year by post.
As a rule, donations within the EU are tax deductible, but donors should also check their national legislation. If you require help with donation receipts for countries inside or outside the EU, feel free to contact us.
How can I be sure that my donation won’t be misused?
An independent committee, made up of the institutions involved in the fundraising campaign, will decide how the funds are to be allocated. Quarterly reports will be available for download on the website, which means the process will benefit from a high degree of transparency.
Within the association, which is running the project, the six-person board is responsible for reaching funding decisions and handling the associated transactions. As part of this, an audit firm (Gieron&Partner) will monitor how funds have been used in each individual case. On top of that, an external audit firm will carry out a yearly evaluation that will also be published online and made available for download.
Why is The House of One spending money on advertising?
The majority of the funds available to us will go into the construction of The House of One. However, since we want to build the project with as many people as possible – irrespective of where they live – we need to tell everyone we can about our idea. To help us do that, we are using a small percentage of our budget to share the message of The House of One with the world. We are extremely grateful to have found so many partners who are willing to be involved in this part of the project and to waive their usual fees.
Questions about the construction of The House of One
Who are the architects behind The House of One?
The design is the work of the architects at Kuehn Malvezzi in Berlin. They won first prize in the global competition that we held in 2012.
When can work begin and when will the building be finished?
If our fundraising campaign is successful enough to allow the architects to pursue their design and execution planning without interruption, then construction could start in 2019. When it will be finished depends on many factors which have yet to be clarified.
How will The House of One finance its operating expenses?
The architects have designed The House of One in such a way that the building systems will only offer basic functions. This means upkeep will remain within manageable limits. We will finance the upkeep through a reserve fund put together from donations not connected to the construction work.
As far as the personnel costs and program work connected to The House of One are concerned, the association will provide basic resources (rabbi, priest, imam) through its lead institutions. It would be highly beneficial to the project if these resources could be expanded. If you are interested in helping us do so, and if you want to make a sustainable contribution to a particular aspect of our work (academic work, literature, art, music, etc.), please get in touch and we will draw up an individual solution for your involvement.
The House of One initiators
Who is behind this project?
The association, House of Prayer and Learning Petriplatz Berlin e. V., was set up in October 2011 to provide the project with institutional support and ensure that the decision-making processes guaranteed equality for each of the three religious communities. The association’s founding members are the Jewish Community of Berlin and the Abraham Geiger College (Jewish partners), the Forum für Interkulturellen Dialog e.V. (Muslim partner), the Evangelische Kirchengemeinde St. Petri- St. Marien and the Evangelische Kirchenkreis Berlin-Stadtmitte (Christian partners). The association’s current board members are Gregor Hohberg (priest), Dr. Andreas Nachama(rabbi), Kadir Sanci (imam), Maya Zehden, Roland Stolte, and Cebrail Terlemez.
The association’s activities will receive support from the high-ranking members of the supervisory board, who will oversee the planning and construction of The House of One. They will also help to ensure high-level exchange between the three religions by providing academic and theological assistance.
In September 2016 the House of One received a new supporting structure: the Foundation House of One.
The trustees are to: Pastor Gregor Hohberg, Rabbi Dr. Andreas Nachama, Imam Kadir Sanci, Renate Franke, Barbara Witting, Suleyman Bag, Karl-Heinz Blickle, Celal Findik, Dr. Dirk Fischer, Dr. Dirk Pilz, Gerrit Popkes, Mike de Vries.
Roland Stolte (Chairman and concept), Katrin Hassenkamp (Marketing, from 1.1.2017) and provisionally Fredrick Barkenhammar (fundraising) form the managing board.
The association Bet- und Lehrhaus Petriplatz Berlin e.V. will continue as Friends of the House of One.
Does The House of One intended to make a profit?
No. All available funds will go into building and operating The House of One and must serve the purposes set out in the bylaws of the association.
Information about The House of One
Are there any informational materials that I can use to promote The House of One, within my community for example?
We have collected all the key information about the House of One. There’s everything from an overview of the facts and figures, to activity sheets for kids. Please let us know and we will happily provide you with the materials needed.
Do you have brochures for schools?
We have materials that tell students all about The House of One in a fun and engaging way. You can hand them out in class, distribute them to the whole school, or use them in lessons.