Yad Vashem Seminars for Educators from Russia and Ukraine – September 18 – October 2, 2005

The Seminar was targeted at leading Russian educators and was held in cooperation with the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Seminar attendees included three representatives of the Institute for Historical Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (including the Institute’s deputy director), the former Russian deputy minister of education, currently heading Drofa, a major Russian publishing house specializing in educational literature, the minister of education for the Saratov region, two directors of top secondary schools, the deputy chief history editor from Prosvesheniye, the largest Russian publishing house, and three compilers of history textbooks.

The Seminar program was designed to cater to the group’s interests. Two new case studies – Voices and Faces of the Vanished World and Memories from an Old Box – were translated for this Seminar. TheBystanders case study was adapted for a Russian audience. The number of lectures on the Shoah in the USSR and Jews’ involvement in partisan warfare and the Soviet Army was increased, and a tour to the Power of Courage museum in Hadera was added. For the first time, there were classes on the Shoah in Israeli literature and theatre. Micro Theater performed excerpts from the play Enemies, a Love Story, based on the work by Isaak Bashevis Singer.

Seminar participants met with Israeli politicians from a number of parties, as well as representatives of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Seminar received very favorable feedback. At the end, participants committed to further educational efforts in Russia and to include the subject of the Shoah in Russian history textbooks. They also agreed to form two more groups of Russian educators and representatives of the Russian Ministry of Education to undergo training at Yad Vashem, as well as to hold a history and education conference in January 2007 for 100 participants on the subject of The Shoah as Part of the Great Patriotic War.