During June 18-26, a seminar for Ukrainian educators was held at the Yad Vashem International School for Holocaust Studies (Jerusalem, Israel), organized by “Tkuma” Ukrainian Institute for Holocaust Studies with the support of the project “Holocaust studies in Ukraine for the formation the atmosphere of tolerance”. The participants of the group, among whom were history teachers and professors, staff of scientific institutions, methodologists from different parts of Ukraine, had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the methods of work of one of the world's leading centers for studying and teaching the history of the Holocaust.
A rich educational and excursion program awaited the group of Ukrainian educators. Lectures on Jewish history and tradition, the history and concept of the establishment of Yad Vashem, pedagogical and interdisciplinary aspects of studying the history of the Holocaust, as well as modern aspects of the topic were read by Dr. Zeev Dashevskyi (Bar Ilan University), Dr. Arkady Seltser (Yad Vashem), Anna Rinenberg (Yad Vashem), Daniel Romanovsky (Yad Vashem), Noah Sigal (Yad Vashem), Stas Framkin (Yad Vashem), Shlomit Shulkhani (Yad Vashem), Dr. Mordechai Yushkovskyi (Bar Ilan University). Moreover to the lectures, there were also practical sessions dedicated to the voices and faces of the past, teaching the Holocaust through feature films and music, and studying the Catastrophe in the absence of eyewitnesses.
The program of the seminar was not limited to classroom work and study of museum exhibits. A varied excursion program was provided every day: excursions to the holy places of Jerusalem, visits to the Jordan River, the fortress of Massada and the Dead Sea.
Our participants shared their impressions of the seminar:
Natalia Kvasha (Kyiv College “Synergia”):
“Jerusalem is a fairy-tale city, a labyrinth city, a museum city. Every person dreams of visiting the holy places of Jerusalem, regardless of their religion. And Jerusalem is Yad Vashem - the Israeli national memorial to the Catastrophe and Heroism. The problems of the Holocaust penetrate deeply into public consciousness and cause sharp controversy both in Israel and around the world. Therefore, at the Yad Vashem memorial, a one-of-a-kind international center for teaching and studying the Holocaust was created, in which we had the honor to study. The task of the school is not to turn the Holocaust into some mystical event, but to come to conclusions that are of great educational and public importance. We had the opportunity to attend interesting lectures, practical seminars, exciting excursions, meet incredible personalities and receive methodical support. This is an inspiring experience! We are sincerely grateful to all the organizers for such a unique opportunity in such a difficult time”.
Olga Posunko (Faculty of History of O. Honchar DNU):
“First of all, the seminar was designed to provide methodological assistance in teaching topics related to the study of the Holocaust. However, it seems extremely important to get acquainted with the experience of preserving historical memory, which should be useful to Ukrainian historians in the process of understanding and perpetuating the memory of the modern Russian-Ukrainian war. The main conclusion: always behind mass losses, in the vortex of Catastrophe, it is worth seeing the history of Man. Memory is preserved in different ways: memories, photos, music, works of art. And it is incredibly important to communicate with witnesses, record their testimony. Israeli colleagues demonstrated exceptional tact, attention to details, life-affirming impulse in working with people, their memories, things, images for future generations. All this should be taken into consideration and be grateful for how generously they shared their experience with us”.