European society is polyethnic and multicultural. This means that the history of Jewish towns and communities, as well as that of the Holocaust, is not only relevant to Jewish history, but an integral part of the history of Europe as a whole, particularly in ESJF’s project countries. We believe that understanding the impact of Jewish communities on the life of towns and regions will help young people form nuanced attitudes to cultural heritage, which, in the long run, will help promote intercultural and interfaith dialogue in a multicultural, diverse Europe.
Through ESJF’s educational outreach programmes, secondary school students are encouraged to preserve and maintain the historical memory of local Jewish communities, including cemetery sites. Focusing on local spaces emphasises not only the close connection between Jewish life and the communities in which students live today, but also serves to de-mystify cemetery sites.
This is of particular importance in the areas in which, in the wake of the Holocaust, Jewish communities no longer exist, as these cemeteries may be represent the last physical testament to Jewish presence. It is therefore vital that young people learn about this material heritage and how to place it in its larger historical and socio-cultural context.
ESJF works with local stakeholders and educators to reach young people. It is our aim to reach out to the organisations already active in these regions of Europe, both Jewish and non-Jewish, in order to build on existing networks and expertise, thereby sharing and optimising pedagogical approaches. By working with national and regional Jewish communities at every opportunity, we aim to educate and inspire the next generation to protect and preserve local Jewish heritage.
Working closely with our consortium partner, Centropa, ESJF are currently carrying out educational projects in: Croatia, Georgia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine.
Centropa is a Jewish historical institute dedicated to preserving 20th century Jewish family stories from Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans, and working with teachers to use these stories to engage their students in conversations about history, civics, and ethics.
Since 2000, Centropa has conducted 1,200 oral history interviews with elderly Jews in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as digitised more than 22,000 of their family photographs. Their collection tells about 20th century Jewish life in a deeply personal way—through family, school, vacations, and everyday life, from the happiest times to the darkest ones. The interviews and photographs Centropa have collected are available to the public on their website, www.centropa.org. Using these stories, Centropa create 21st century educational materials such as short multimedia films, exhibitions and apps perfect for classroom use, and work with educators in over 500 schools in 18 countries.
SEMINARS & COMPETITIONS
The seminars conducted by Centropa within the project are open to educators, multipliers in formal and non-formal education, and NGO representatives from Slovakia, Croatia, Poland, Lithuania, Hungary, Ukraine, and Georgia.
During the seminars, participants work in small groups, where they use materials and databases by the ESJF and Centropa to create lesson plans and extra-curricular projects on Jewish cemeteries. This approach encourages participants to increase their cross-cultural competencies by sharing their knowledge, skills, and creativity with each other. After each seminar, we collect lessons on Jewish cemeteries from the participants to share these lessons with other teachers on our project website.
The Centropa/ESJF youth competitions encourage young citizens from the project countries to send in digital projects such as short films, online brochures, or cemetery profiles (websites) on local Jewish cemeteries.
Over the course of the 2020-2021 EU-funded project “Protecting the Jewish cemeteries of Europe: Continuation of the mapping process, stakeholders’ involvement and awareness raising (EAC/S10/2019)”, ESJF joined forces with NGOs Centropa and the Foundation for Jewish Heritage to raise awareness of Jewish cemeteries among teachers and students. Under the leadership of Centropa, the consortium organised seven interactive training seminars for 250 teachers in seven countries, put out a call for teacher lesson plans, and ran an international digital storytelling competition for youth. Despite COVID-19 restrictions and school closures, the consortium received 98 student entries to the competition. Below are the winning competition entries.
Scroll down for our teacher lesson plan submissions, available as downloadable PDFs in Ukrainian, Hungarian, Slovak, Lithuanian, Polish, Georgian, and Croatian.
Congratulations to all!
Students: Natálka Schwartzová
Teacher: Veronika Páleníková
Project name: Otwocki Cmentarz żydowski
Student: Joanna Szerszeń, Paulina Łomża, Artur Bieńkowski, Julia Skiba, Marta Grunt, Bartłomiej Kołodziej, Zuzanna Smolińska, Amelia Bartnicka
Teacher: Monika Anuszkiewicz
Project name: Jewish Cemetery in Kalisz/Cmentarz żydowski w Kaliszu
Student: Sylwia Staniewska
Teacher: Izabella Galuba Bryja
Project name: International Youth Competition on “Local Jewish Cemeteries”
Students: Temur Tsetskhladze, Khatia Kabisashvili
Teacher: Nia Khachapuridze
Project name: Dotnuvos žydų senosios kapinės/Dotnuva Jewish Old Cemetery
Students: Reda Jurkutė, Vytis Balandis, other participants – Ina Krasauskienė, Jonas/Andrius/Rokas Balandžiai, Deividas ir Henrikas Jurkai
Teacher: Ina Krasauskienė
Project name: Jewish cemetery in Ludbreg – Tamo, kod tri lipe
Students: Kristijan Vuković, Adam Harrane, Nadin Harrane, Marta Cvek, Jakov Bedeković, Valentino Dukši, Ivan Slavin
Teacher: Milivoj Dretar
Project name: In search of family Berger
Students: Marko Bocka, Tamara Ćurčić, Luka Đerđ, Lucija Kalozi, Robin Kremerenski, Mihael Lovrić, Lucija Majer, David Perić, Vojkan Popadić, Deajn Popović, Tajana Sundić, Magdalena Tišma
Teacher: Tomislav Vuković
Project name: Jewish cemetery of Karlovac
Students: Nicole, Jakin Zita, Špoljarić Lana, Zovko Marta, Žaja Iva, Jež Nika, Mrkalj Helena, Pušnik Laura, Špigelski Lucija, Štranjger Nina
Teacher: Tatjana Protulipac
Category: Website, film, brochure
Link 1, Link 2, Link 3
Project name: The Jewish Cemetery in Varaždin
Students: Borna Grdak, Patrik Štefan, Emili Maslov, Nina Veseljak , Laura Zrinjski, Paula Vešligaj, Ema Bosilj
Teacher: Biserka Zajec
Project name: The Jewish cemetery in Chernivtsi as a place and space of memory
Students: Bogdanovska Olena, Nikitina Karolina
Teacher: Anzhela Karimova
Project name: Forgotten Kiliya
Students: Kompaniiets Yeva, Tykhonova Daria, Maslennikova Yana, Trypolska Sofiia, Heorhiiev Valentyn, Oryshchak Denys, Livinskyi Denys, Yuliia Zvierieva
Teacher: Olena Oryshchak
Project name: Old Jewish cemeteries as a source of Kovel history
Students: Lavreniyk Yulia, Riabyshko Tetiana, Dubiy Karina, Nagaliuk Dana
Teacher: Miroslava Dika
Project name: The Jewish Cemetery of Salgótarjáni Street
Students: Dorka Dózsa, Krisztián Gádor, Bálint Kalmár, Lili Berey, Lili Rácz, Luca Szenthe, Andris Himmler, Hanna Kővári, Rebecca Ridout, Bence Sugár, Dóri Szujó, Ben Mazza, Dávid Szekeres, Vilma Körtvélyesi, Fruzsina Nagy
Teachers: Ildikó Szarvas, Alíz Szirtes, Márton Jeszenszky, Szonja Komoróczy
Project name: House of the Living: The Jewish cemetery in Karcag
Students: Anna Bánfi, Dávid Korda, Boglárka Unyi
Teacher: Patkó Csaba
Project name: What the Stones Tell a Story About: The Jewish Cemetery in Sopron
Students: Áron Mór Fispán, Noémi Rebeka Horváth, Viktória Kiss, Dávid Kovács
Teacher: Vódli Zsolt István
Project name: Kozma Street Cemetery
Students: Virág Debreczny, Zoltán Farkas, Patrik Gerencsér, Balázs Batonai, Andrea Suhajda, Kristóf Weisenger, László Méhes
Teacher: Anita Tüdős
Project name: Szombathely Jewish CemeteryA Cemetery Tells a Story
Students: Balázs Gerencsér, János Dobos, Dominik Simon, Fanni Kasparik, Norina Kondics, Dóra Tömpe, Ágnes Takács
Teacher: Beáta Várnainé Balogh
Category: Film, brochure, and website
Link 1, Link 2, Link 3
As part of our new EU-funded Pilot Project: “Rescue by Recognition: Mapping Jewish Cemeteries in Europe”, ESJF is working with our partners at Centropa to carry out educational programmes across Croatia, Georgia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine.
The first events of the programme will consist of two-day teacher training seminars in each of the countries, in which veteran educators from Centropa and ESJF will lead workshops providing participants with all the tools necessary to bring Jewish heritage to their classrooms in a meaningful, engaging way.
Participants will have the opportunity to attend talks from experts on Jewish heritage, workshops on developing lesson plans and making educational films, screenings of short documentaries by Centropa and ESJF, and guided tours of local Jewish cemeteries and synagogues.
This is a fantastic opportunity for educators with an interest in teaching Jewish heritage.
Date: September 13-14, 2020
Location: Online (Zoom)
Date: December 1-2, 2020
Date: October 18-19, 2020
Date: August 25-26, 2020
Location: Galicia Jewish Museum, Krakow
Date: August 23-24, 2020
Location: Banska Bystrica
Date: September 13-14, 2020
Location: Online (Zoom)
Date: November 24-25, 2020
Moldova seminar in October 2019 Moldova has no centralised curriculum that includes Jewish history. As such, educational activities are needed to introduce the subject itself. This means that teacher training is an especially crucial element of the ESJF’s educational work in Moldova: sustainability hinges on convincing teachers to broaden the scope of their work without […]
Educational activities are strictly regulated by the Greek Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, and the ESJF developed its educational work in accordance with their requirements. We partnered with the NGO Centropa, whose work focuses on teaching 20th century Jewish history. In cooperation with the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS), the Jewish […]