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The International School for Holocaust Studies

Reaching Across Europe

By Richelle Budd Caplan, Director, European Department

More than 1200 educators from six continents study every year at Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies. Over the course of the summer months, twelve seminars will be coordinated in its new international seminars wing – the majority of which are from European countries including Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania and more.

Professional seminars at Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies are intense, packed with lectures, workshops, tours of the Yad Vashem campus and various interdisciplinary sessions. At the conclusion of these programs, seminar participants often comment on their exhaustion and emotional overload, yet usually underscore, “We would not have changed a thing. It was a unique experience. Thank you.”

For example, a Greek educator on June 28, 2013, provided Yad Vashem with the following feedback:

“Taking part in this seminar was a unique experience for me. The whole Yad Vashem campus – the memorials, buildings and historical museum impressed me a lot and I think that they are places worth visiting. The films and the survivor testimony were highlights. Some of these places as the Children’s Memorial really touched me. The seminar was well organized and the group facilitator was excellent in his duties. The main thing is that I learned many new things about the Holocaust and this knowledge I intend to share not only with my friends and colleagues but also to transfer to my pupils.”

A Cypriot educator sent us the following seminar evaluation on June 26, 2013:

“The facilities, the lessons and the materials which were provided were of high quality. The whole seminar and the presentations and our educators were just great. The work that you are doing here can be used as a paradigm on the way we cope with historical issues. Thank you very much for all of the experience and we would really like to continue the cooperation with Yad Vashem. The seminar broadened my experience as a teacher and as a person. Thank you again.”

On the basis of external assessment and the participants’ comments, teachers who study at Yad Vashem do not only buttress their knowledge and gain pedagogical insights, but also undergo a special experience and delve into the subject as a group. Some participants have remarked that studying at Yad Vashem has provided them with life education, inspiring them to become better teachers and better human beings.

Following their studies at Yad Vashem, many European Department graduates have implemented various Holocaust-related projects in their classrooms and or in their respective communities. Various examples of Yad Vashem seminar graduates' projects may be found here:

If you have graduated a Yad Vashem seminar, please update us about your work in the classroom.
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