Seminar for Czech Teachers in the Israeli Yad Vashem

Participants of the seminar in the Yad Vashem memorial, November 2016, photo: Petra Pěničková, Památník Terezín.

Participants of the seminar in the Yad Vashem memorial, November 2016, photo: Petra Pěničková, Památník Terezín.


The fourth-level educational seminar for Czech teachers was held in the Yad Vashem Memorial in Jerusalem already for the twelfth time. Co-organized by the Yad Vashem, the Czech Republic’s Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and the Terezín Memorial, the seminar was attended by a total of 18 teachers from different types of schools in the Czech Republic.

This seminar lasting several days featured a number of lectures and workshops led by experts in the given subjects. The participants not only learnt many new things, they were also introduced to a methodology for competently presenting this particular topic to their pupils and students at schools back home.

Workshop The Auschwitz album at Yad Vashem led by Yaftach Askenazy, November 2016, photo: Petra Pěničková, Památník Terezín.

Workshop The Auschwitz album at Yad Vashem led by Yaftach Askenazy, November 2016, photo: Petra Pěničková, Památník Terezín.


The attendees were particularly attracted and impressed for instance by the lecture delivered by Yeshay Balog on the subject “Substance of Traditional Judaism” or by Dr. Rob Rozett´s lecture “From Anti-Semitism to the Nazi Ideology”. Furthermore, such issues as the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question”, “The Just Among Nations” or life after the war and how to cope with the past were brought up and discussed. Some of the teachers demonstrated to their colleagues their own approach to Holocaust education, sharing with them their experience hitherto. However, the Yad Vashem´s approach to Holocaust education proved to be exceptionally revealing and useful for all the Czech teachers.
During the visit of kibbutz Beit Theresienstadt, November 2016, photo: Jana Švarcová, Památník Terezín.

During the visit of kibbutz Beit Theresienstadt, November 2016, photo: Jana Švarcová, Památník Terezín.


A highly enriching point of the entire seminar was a visit to the Beit Terezín kibbutz, lying some 60 kms northwest of Jerusalem. During a guided tour we learnt many interesting facts about its history, establishment as well as current life of its inhabitants. We were also highly impressed by the colourful narrative of Mrs. Ruth Meisner, a Holocaust survivor, who had come from Czechoslovakia, was imprisoned in the Terezín Ghetto during World War II and moved to Israel after the war.

In an effort to deepen the participants´ knowledge of the local culture and the history of Israel the visit came complete with guided tours of Jerusalem’s Old Town, the ancient fortress of Masada and the Dead Sea. In the evening on Friday the seminar participants had a unique opportunity, as part of the evening prayers, to take a look at one of the local synagogues.

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