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The International School for Holocaust Studies

International Programs

The Department for International Seminars for Educators in English

”It is not for you to finish the work, but neither are you free to desist from it”

Pirke Avot 2:21

This nineteen day seminar will be first and foremost, a learning experience that will require a tremendous amount of physical, intellectual, and emotional stamina. Throughout most of the seminar you will find yourself sitting in the classroom listening to the pre-eminent scholars in the various fields of Holocaust scholarship, research, and pedagogy.

As intensive as this seminar is, you will merely be scratching the surface of a topic that to this day generates over four thousand books, articles, and commentaries per year. Nineteen days is simply not enough time to plumb the depths of these topics and the questions they provoke.

In order to create the educational atmosphere that we believe is important, this seminar will require a tremendous amount of listening, patience, and humility. Participants come to Yad Vashem from North America, Australia, South America, and Eastern Europe. The international flavor of the seminars allows the educators to experience the diverse understanding and pedagogical imperatives of their colleagues. This imbues the seminar with an international perspective on Holocaust education that could not be achieved in a seminar open only to one specific geographical group.   

What are the educational objectives in our seminars?

The seminar is built upon three major pillars; academic, pedagogical, and experiential, reflective of the educational philosophy of the school.

A. The academic component will take you through the history and culture of the Jewish people in the interwar period, a people with diverse interests and roots – not a people born as victims. It will continue through the history of Antisemitism, the stages of the Final Solution, and the Jewish response to the Nazi onslaught.  This element, although historically based, will include lectures on literature, theology, psychology, and art.

B. The pedagogical component will provide the participants with the tools to translate this academic content into suitable pedagogical materials that are age appropriate and multi-disciplinary. We will model a series of different teaching resources that have been developed in the International School for Holocaust Studies. Time will be provided for previewing and discussing educational activities and tools that have been developed by the participants in their individual schools and museums.

C. The experiential component has three varied parts. The first and probably most important element is meetings with survivors.

During the course of this seminar, participants meet with ten to twelve survivors whose testimonies document and personalize this tragic historical event. These survivors and their stories provide the Holocaust with a human face and heart.

The second element is field trips that will connect educators not only with the recent history of the Jewish people but also with its ancient roots in the Land of Israel. This provides participants with a break from serious classroom study as well as providing a context for the Holocaust and its aftermath.

A series of films and optional workshops that will enhance both the historical and pedagogical components of the program is the final component.

The seminar will also address the recent upsurge of Antisemitism and Holocaust denial through out the world today including strategies for combating these phenomena.

We will continue to address the Arab – Israeli conflict as it unfolds, although this is not a major component and certainly not the focus of this seminar.

We offer you a unique opportunity to increase your knowledge, hone your skills as an educator, and see the Israel that is home to the Jewish people, in an international environment designed to promote scholarship, dialogue, and pedagogy.

Stephanie McMahon-Kaye
Desk for International Seminars in English
The International School for Holocaust Studies

Contact Information

Yad Vashem
The International School for Holocaust Studies
International Seminars in English
P.O. Box 3477
Jerusalem 9103401

Phone:+972-2-644 3639
Fax:+972-2-643 3640
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