Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Chinese Educators Inspired at Yad Vashem

“By participating in the seminar, I deeply recognize the importance of Holocaust education. I think the essential goal of Holocaust education is ‘to remember the past, to live the present, to trust the future.’ (Abba Kovner)” - one of 29 Chinese educators who spent two-weeks at the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem

Earlier this month, 29 educators from Macau, Shanghai, Shangdong, Nanjing and Kaifeng, Xian, and Zhengzhou came to Jerusalem, Israel to take part at the second Chinese seminar for Educators at Yad Vashem's International School for Holocaust Studies. MA and Doctoral students, university department heads and professors as well as a participant from the Nanjiing Massacre Memorial Museum, all came for in-depth study of the Holocaust and how to teach it in the classroom. The group also an opportunity to tour in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and other areas in Israel and experience a singular communal Shabbat Jerusalem.
The special 2-week seminar was comprised of academic lectures and presentations of educational resources including Antisemitism, the Final Solution, the Allies and the Holocaust, the Righteous Among the Nations, Nazi Racial ideology, the unprecedentedness of the Holocaust, and Yad Vashem’s pedagogical approach to Holocaust education. Among the seven survivors that met with the group at Yad Vashem were two ‘Schindler Jews’ (Jews rescued by Righteous Among the Nations Oskar Schindler) who shared their experiences in the Emile Factory in Krakow and the best friend of Anne Frank spoke extensively of their friendship as young children.
In the end, the reflections of the participants themselves speak of what has been accomplished in such a short, but intense, study period. In the words of one of the participants, "These two weeks in Israel is my most beautiful memory in my life…With this new knowledge.…I will do my best to tell the spirit of the Holocaust and the Jewish people, to promote the friendship between China and Israel."

Last year a similar seminar inaugurated Yad Vashem’s ongoing activity in China; and since then Yad Vashem experts have been to China to hold seminars there as well. The seminar is sponsored by the Adelson Family Charitable Foundation. Dr. Miriam Adelson is Chairperson of the Council for the Promotion of Israel-China Relations.

Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies conducts dozens of seminars annually for educators from around the world, and produces educational material in many languages.

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