Teachers off to school in Israel
Fourteen Victorian educators were farewelled prior to participating in The Gandel Holocaust Studies Program for Australian Educators at Yad Vashem, Jerusalem.
Attended by more than 100 people at Beth Weizmann, the function was organised by Raoul Wallenberg Unit of B’nai B’rith, which began this program with three teachers in 1998. Since then, over 75 teachers have undertaken the course, returning to their schools throughout Victoria to teach Holocaust from a Jewish perspective. Now named the Pauline Glass Yad Vashem Study Grants, $6,000 is raised for each teacher’s participation in the three-week course.
In recent years, Yad Vashem developed a 12-month program for Australian educators. This includes:
A pre-seminar, online preparatory course
January – An 18-day seminar
A visit to Australia by the seminar coordinator to check teachers’ projects and for further discussions
November – A visit to Australia by the head of the seminar for discussions with the new awardees for the ensuing year’s seminar.
Each year, Raoul Wallenberg Unit organises a farewell and a welcome back afternoon tea at which the awardees speak about their expectations and hopes of the course and their visit to Israel and, upon their return, deliver excellent speeches about their experiences, many of them reporting that they had been life-changing.
The program is supported mainly by the generosity of donors and is attended by educators from across Australia.
Professor Konrad Kweit is a member of the selection panel and told J-Wire: “It is not only teachers who go. We really find huge value in the program when it is attended by education administrators too.”