Community reaction to Gandel Foundation’s survey

January 27, 2022 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Zionist Federation of Australia has welcomed the publication of the Gandel Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness in Australia Survey 2021 Project Report, and its important findings.

 ZFA President Jeremy Leibler fully endorsed the Survey’s findings and recommendations. “That a quarter of Australians and a third of young Australians have little to no knowledge of the Holocaust is really worrying,” said Mr Leibler. “The Holocaust is obviously searingly important to the Jewish people, but its human rights lessons are universal – and the Gandel Holocaust Survey confirms that, with nine in 10 Australians agreeing that we can learn lessons for today from what happened in the Holocaust. Knowing about the Holocaust makes people aware of the evils of racism, and the dangers of allowing hatred to manifest.”

The first of eight recommendations in the Gandel Survey’s report is for Holocaust education to be included in the curriculum of all states and territories.

While Victoria, NSW, Queensland and the Northern Territory have mandated minimum hours, there are no mandated hours in South Australia, Western Australia, the ACT, and Tasmania.

The survey found that two-thirds of Australians believe that Holocaust education should be mandatory in schools. Further, seven in ten Australians believe that more needs to be done to educate people about the Holocaust, according to the survey findings.

The survey findings also make clear that higher levels of Holocaust awareness are associated with warmer feelings towards religious and ethnic minorities, as well as vulnerable groups such as refugees.

“Holocaust education in our schools is key,” said Mr Leibler. “We urge the education ministers of South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and the ACT to have a careful look at this report.”

The ZFA acknowledges the important work of the Gandel Foundation in bringing this survey to fruition, and the Foundation’s other ground-breaking work in relation to Holocaust education across Australia.

Noting that this is the first national, large-scale survey of Australians’ knowledge of the Holocaust and their attitudes concerning Jews, antisemitism and Holocaust education, ECAJ co-CEO Peter Wertheim said: “This seminal study has yielded a rich trove of findings that will inform policy-makers and educators in the coming years in shaping approaches to public and school education about the Holocaust.”

He added: “This will be an invaluable complement to the ECAJ’s efforts to persuade government and independent schools to introduce anti-prejudice education into key points of the curriculum. Especially relevant are the recommendations for professional development programs for teachers in delivering age-appropriate learning about the Holocaust and antisemitism, and strategies for engagement with Holocaust museums, memorials and educational institutions.

The ECAJ fully endorses the recommendations that have emerged from this study”, he said.  “Speaking personally, I am honoured to have been included as a member of the advisory panel to the Survey”.


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