Friends  |  Press Room  |  Contact Us

Press Room

Teaching the Holocaust to Future Generations
Over 300 participants from 21 countries to participate in Fifth International Conference on Holocaust Education at Yad Vashem

26 June 2006

The Fifth International Conference for Educators, Teaching the Holocaust to Future Generations opens tonight, Monday, June 26, 2006, at Yad Vashem. The Conference is taking place in partnership with Oranim Educational Initiatives, and with the generous support of The Asper International Holocaust Studies Program, the Asper Foundation, Winnipeg, Canada.

The opening ceremony will take place at 19:30 at the Family Plaza at the International School for Holocaust Studies. Rabbi Michael Melchior, MK, Chairman of the Education, Culture and Sports Committee, the Knesset, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev and President of Oranim Educational Initiatives Shlomo (Momo) Lifshitz will participate.

The three-day conference includes lectures in plenary sessions, discussion groups and workshops that will explore and reflect on varied approaches to Holocaust education. The conference will focus on interdisciplinary approaches to teaching the Holocaust, and the Holocaust in the context of genocide. Some 300 educators will participate from 21 countries - including China, Greece, Venezuela, Belgium, Australia, Romania, Hungary, South Africa, Poland, Germany and the United States. Experts on the Holocaust and education from leading institutions around the world will give the lectures and lead the discussion groups.

In plenary sessions conference participants will examine such varied topics as:

  • Tuesday, June 27, 2006, 9:00: The Face of the Individual within the Historical Narrative: Educational uses of Holocaust Art, Literature and Film
    Chair: Dr. William L. Shulman, President, AHO, USA
    Speakers:
    Prof. Lawrence Langer, Prof. Emeritus of English, Simmons College, MA, USA
    Dr. Stephen Feinstein, Director, Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, University of Minnesota, USA
    Dr. Deborah Oppenheimer, Producer of the Academy Award winning film, Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • Wednesday, June 28, 2006, 9:00: The Educational Implications of Visiting Holocaust Memorial Sites and Museums - On Site Objectives and Classroom Use
    Chair: Prof. David Bankier, Head of the International Institute for Holocaust Research, Yad Vashem, Israel
    Speakers:
    Avner Shalev, Chairman, Yad Vashem Directorate, Israel
    Dr. Jolanta Ambrosewicz-Jacobs, Auschwitz Birkenau Museum, Head of Research Section for Holocaust Studies, Institute of European Studies, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
    Prof. Dr. Rita Suessmuth, Former President of the German Parliament, Chairperson of "The Friends of Yad Vashem in Germany"
    Dan Napolitano, Director of the Education Division, USHMM, Washington, D.C., USA
  • Thursday, June 29, 2006, 9:00: The Uniqueness of the Shoah in the Context of Genocide: The Educational Objectives
    Chair: Dr. Israel Charney
    Speakers:
    Dr. Deborah E. Lipstadt, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and Holocaust Studies, Director, Rabbi Donald Tam Institute for Jewish Studies, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Professor Ben Kiernan, Whitney Griswold Professor of History, Professor of International and Area Studies, Director, Genocide Studies Program, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA
    Prof. Yehuda Bauer, Academic Advisor, Yad Vashem, Israel
  • Closing Session, Thursday, June 29, 2006 at 16:00: The Israel Asper Memorial Lecture, The Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights: What have we learned? Where Do We Go from Here?
    Chair: Moses (Moe) Levy, Executive Director, Asper Foundation
    Speakers:
    The Hon. Prof. Irwin Cotler, Member of the Canadian Parliament
    Shulamit Imber, Pedagogical Director of the International School for Holocaust Studies

Following the plenary sessions, participants will have an opportunity to reflect on the issues in discussion groups led by the panelists and other Holocaust educators and historians. Throughout the conference, participants will address the dilemmas and complexities involved in teaching the Holocaust and be exposed to new areas of research and a wide range of pedagogical material, curricula, movies, educational websites and more.

Workshops will be held on a myriad of issues ranging from Using Art in teaching the Holocaust; Ideology, Gender and Body: The particular essence of the female experience in Auschwitz; Trips to Poland for Youth Groups: Yad Vashems educational objectives, and Holocaust and Genocides: Beyond the Difference of Definition.

Unlike historical conferences, the International Conference focuses on the future. The conference will provide a forum for educators from around the world to participate in a wide-ranging and enriching dialogue on Holocaust education, said Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate. We believe that an interdisciplinary approach to Holocaust education will lead to a deeper and more extensive knowledge of the Shoah.

As the survivor generation grows smaller and there are fewer eyewitnesses, the job of the educator in ensuring the memory of the Holocaust intensifies, this is why Oranim Educational Initiatives has set a goal to reach as many educators as possible and to give them practical tools, enriching their abilities to pass on the lessons of the Holocaust, said Shlomo (Momo) Lifshitz, President of Oranim Educational Initiatives.