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Inaugural Gandel Holocaust Studies Program for Australian Educators Opens at Yad Vashem

12 January 2010

(January 11, 2010 - Jerusalem) Twenty Australian educators are at Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies to attend the inaugural seminar of the Gandel Holocaust Studies Program for Australian educators, which opened this week.

The educators, from across Australia, are involved in various formal and informal educational activities relating to the Holocaust. While at Yad Vashem, the group will have in depth tours of the Yad Vashem campus, including the Holocaust History Museum, and have an opportunity to meet with top experts in the field of Holocaust education and research. In addition to discussions of the history of the Holocaust, lectures and presentations on effective Holocaust education - including age appropriate methods, and the use of multidisciplinary tools - are being offered.

The program, established by the Gandel family of Melbourne, is a long-term professional development project designed to provide vital expert training to Australian educators who are active in Holocaust instruction throughout Australia. The current two-week seminar will be followed by a full-year program of training and follow up work in Australia. Prof. Emeritus Louis Waller and H.E. Ambassador James Larsen, Australian Ambassador to Israel, joined Dorit Novak, Director of the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem, and the seminar participants at the seminar's official opening on January 10, 2010.

“By providing teachers with the practical and didactic methods needed to create a cadre of educators with the knowledge and tools for meaningful Holocaust education, the Gandel Program is a significant development in advancing Holocaust education and awareness in Australian schools,” said Avner Shalev, Chairman of Yad Vashem.

Novak added, “Yad Vashem has worked with Australian educators in the past, but the new Gandel program will transform periodic seminars into a comprehensive, sustainable program. With Australia expected to mandate Holocaust education in the schools beginning in 2011, this project is perfectly timed to prepare educators to meet the challenges of meaningful, multidisciplinary Holocaust education in the new century."