International School Pedagogical Director Shulamit Imber spoke about the moral meanings of the Holocaust
Surrounded by his family, Yaakov Scheinowitz lit the same menorah his father lit in the Westerbork detention camp
28 December 2016
Day three of Yad Vashem's International Conference for Jewish Educators – the largest gathering of the most senior educators in the Jewish school system from more than 30 countries worldwide – began with a presentation by the International School's Pedagogical Director and Fred Hilman Chair of Holocaust Documentation Shulamit Imber. "The Shoah is not the obsession of the survivors, nor is it the commemoration of the six million victims," she said. "The survivors chose to emphasize hope and dignity… we must not be indifferent to other people's suffering. That is part of our moral legacy."
Participants were then able to choose from a number of pedagogical workshops for primary, middle and high-school, presented by experts from Yad Vashem and other Holocaust-related institutions. Here, many of the age-appropriate and innovative materials created at Yad Vashem were demonstrated, and challenges in different formal and informal educational networks were discussed.
A number of simultaneous workshops and panel discussions were held, showcasing multidisciplinary approaches to Holocaust education, such as through testimonies, art, films and technology. Michael Voskoboynik of the Hasten Hebrew Academy of Indianapolis, USA presented the state-of-the-art tools, such as "augmented reality," which he uses to engage his students in the topic of the Holocaust: "Using technology helps today's generation understand the themes of the Shoah, develops their motivation and personalizes their learning experience."
The workshops were followed by informal roundtable discussions, providing the participants with opportunities to share the challenges they face with Yad Vashem staff in order to further develop new ways to integrate Shoah education into Jewish day school curricula.
IDF Deputy Chief Cantor Capt. Daniel Colthof (Res.) was honored to lead the candle-lighting ceremony for the fifth night of Hanukah. Surrounded by many members of his family, Yaakov Scheinowitz lit the same menorah that his father Nachman had lit in 1942 in the Westerbork detention camp. In 1940, Nachman's father Zelig created a wooden menorah in Westerbork, which was also displayed at the ceremony.
The audience then heard the moving account of Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds, who was recently recognized by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for saving the lives of Jewish soldiers in a German POW camp in January 1945. His son, Pastor Chris Edmonds, retold his father's heroic deeds, and his intriguing journey to discovering the story.
The International Conference is generously supported by The Asper Foundation, the Adelson Family Foundation, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Genesis Philanthropy Group and the Israel Ministry of Diaspora Affairs.