With COVID-19 lockdowns in full-effect across Europe, ESJF has been hard at work over the past few weeks, restructuring the final educational events of our first EU-funded pilot project to an online format.
We are pleased to announce that last week we carried out the first of our educational webinars with secondary-school outreach events for students across Lithuania. Arranged in cooperation with Lithuanian educator Meilė Platūkienė, these webinars, entitled “What the Old Jewish Cemetery Says”, gave students a chance to engage with their local Jewish heritage. By discussing the history of their local Jewish community, Jewish traditions, and various methods for decoding and understanding Jewish epitaphs, the webinars emphasised the value of Jewish cemeteries as a vital part of Lithuanian heritage, rather than artefacts of a lost culture.
Thus far, we have carried out 4 webinars, speaking to students from Daugai, Varėna, and Kalvarija. While the remote setting of these events precludes our usual site visits, early feedback from the seminars has been positive, highlighting the need to expand discussions of Jewish heritage in the classroom beyond the tragedy of the Holocaust.
We will conclude this work with a further 4 webinars next week, with students from Druskininkai, Alytus, and Balbieriškis.
We look forward to continuing to explore the possibilities of teaching in this exciting new format.