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International Forum on Holocaust Education opens at Yad Vashem

11 countries participate in Yad Vashem-OSCE working meetings

9 October 2005

The European Department of the International School for Holocaust Studies is hosting an international forum of thirteen experts in the fields of Holocaust education and antisemitism from eleven European countries to discuss best practices and practical strategies on promoting Holocaust education as well as combating antisemitism. The forum is being held in cooperation with the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The meetings follow the June 2005 Cordoba Conference on Antisemitism and other Forms of Intolerance, and are part of the implementation of the OSCEs Berlin Declaration of April 2004.

The expert working meeting is taking place at the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem from October 9-11, 2005, and explores professional strategies and methods to implement practical guidelines and teacher-training projects for the teaching of the Holocaust. The forum focuses on didactic tools and techniques with the aim to empower educators to foster Holocaust education, confront antisemitism and xenophobia as well as initiate local projects in their schools and communities. The international forum seeks to support European educators in this endeavor, encouraging their commitment to teach about this watershed event in world history.

The main objectives of the Forum are:

  • To explore the meanings of the Holocaust beyond the boundaries of current educational paradigms, stretching them to new deeper levels of understanding and internalization.
  • To empower educators by providing them with pedagogical guidelines and tools to combat the new antisemitism and its manifestations.
  • To convey the importance of safeguarding human rights and preventing racism or xenophobia through Holocaust education.
  • To support educators to teach the Holocaust using a multi-disciplinary, multicultural, and age-appropriate approach.
  • To facilitate the creation of cadres of leaders in Holocaust education who will initiate and implement programs, thus widening the circle of qualified educators on the national and international levels.

A booklet summarizing the bodys deliberations and recommendations will be published.

The forum is supported by the Asper International Holocaust Studies Program at the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem.