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The International School for Holocaust Studies

Teaching the Legacy: e-Newsletter for Holocaust Educators
(March, 2009)


Activities in Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia
At the end of January, European Department staff member Orit Margaliot took part in a number of educational activities in Slovenia, Serbia, and Croatia, meeting with Yad Vashem seminar graduates and future participants.

The visit to Slovenia coincided with the opening of an exhibit on the Jews of Prykmore – a large Jewish community, most of which perished during the Holocaust. This exhibit is being shown in a former 13th century synagogue, which later became a church whose only remnants of its Jewish past are the architecture. During a gathering of academic researchers at the Institute for Contemporary History, organized by a seminar graduate and with the participation of Ambassador Roman Kirn and future seminar participants, local academics provided a pictorial history of the Jews of Slovenia and their fate during the Holocaust. At the same gathering, Orit Margaliot lectured on “The Holocaust and Genocide,” and on Yad Vashem’s educational perspective.

In Serbia, graduates of Yad Vashem seminars spoke of the importance of their participation in the teachers’ programs, and how their own educational work has been developed through the tools received at Yad Vashem. Two days of educational activities were held at the Belgrade primary school, wherein seminar graduates gave an insight into their pedagogical work inspired by their experiences at Yad Vashem. The graduates explained that they have been sharing their newly garnered knowledge with teachers around Serbia and feel it would be beneficial to create an online Serbian language forum. Such a forum is to encourage an exchange of ideas on Yad Vashem’s website.

In Croatia, Chava Baruch, another member of the European Department, joined Orit Margaliot at the 5th Annual Holocaust Seminar, leading 40 participants in workshops including “Holocaust Education Through Art,” and “Antisemitism.” The Croatian seminar ended with a declaration by the Croatian Minister of Education of the creation of an exchange program for Israeli and Croatian youth.

The Fourth Annual ICHEIC Forum
The 4th Annual ICHEIC Forum took place in February with 20 participants, our European partners who are actively involved in the planning of seminar programs which take place at Yad Vashem, and the recruitment of the educators.

For the first time, this year’s participants included representatives from Slovakia and Slovenia, underlining the progress Yad Vashem has made over the last 12 months in reaching out to European educators.

This Forum takes place each year within the framework of the ICHEIC Program for Holocaust Education in Europe. It provides a forum in which to learn about the status of Holocaust education throughout the continent, and the new educational attitudes and programs being applied at Yad Vashem.

During the Forum, participants heard lectures on “Holocaust Art” and “The Holocaust in a Post-Modernist Context.” Three pedagogical issues were underlined during group discussions: “Teaching the Holocaust in the Realm of Human Rights,” “Working with Students in Memorial Sites,” and “Creating a Framework for a Lesson Plan on the Holocaust and Genocide.” Workshops in small groups dealt with practical suggestions on how to improve our seminars and make them more relevant for the changing realities in Europe, and for the specific needs of our partners.