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South African educators learn about the Holocaust at Yad Vashem

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RONNIE GOTKIN

It marked a unique opportunity for these professionals to extend their knowledge of this tragic period at Israel’s renowned memorial to victims of the Holocaust and to reflect, with the assistance of experts, on how best to convey the knowledge they gleaned to their learners.

They also had the opportunity to meet survivors and get a unique tour of the Yad Vashem campus. This was particularly meaningful to the group, most of whom were not Jewish.

Topics covered at the seminar included, inter alia, The Rise of Modern Anti-Semitism in Europe, Teaching about Anti-Semitism in the classroom, Nazi Racial Ideology and the Jewish Question, The Dilemmas of Jewish Leadership during the Holocaust, Representations of the Holocaust in Literature, The Allies and the Holocaust, Holocaust Denial, and Current Issues in Holocaust Education.

“It was an extraordinary privilege to have face time with these extraordinary teachers,” said one of the participants. “The seminar exposed holes in my teaching of the subject over the past six years. This has given me the tools and skills I need going forward. It has equipped me to teach various aspects, and to understand that it can be different each time. It has shown me how much more reading I have to do and how ignorant I have been in many aspects.”

Another visiting educator said: “This course has changed us in a number of ways – our teaching and learning style, our spiritual understanding and connection, and meeting new people. I have grown and developed in amazing ways.”

 

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