Seminar for Lithuanian educators opened up a wide range of options for professional activities

From 2 to 11 August, a group of Lithuanian educators participated in a seminar in Israel at Yad Vashem, the International School for Holocaust Studies.


The international seminar in Israel was an internship focused on historical, emotional-intellectual, and cultural cognition. Subjective lectures, such as those by Zeev Dashevsky, who analyzed the events of the Old Testament and discussed aspects of guilt and responsibility; Ilya Lurje, who gave an insight into Jewish communal life in medieval Europe; or historian Arkadiy Zeltser, who encouraged reflection on the migration of Jews from small towns (shtetls) to cities in the early twentieth century, asking questions such as: what were the Lithuanian cities of Vilnius and Kaunas like at that time? The lecturer, Mordechay Yushkovsky, made us think about the interesting personalities we lost during the Holocaust in Lithuania, and the lecture on music during the Holocaust deepened the understanding that artists remain creators even in the face of death.

The methodological sessions, prepared by educational specialists from Yad Vashem International School, showed the Lithuanian teachers what and how to use in the Lithuanian educational system, taking into account the historical knowledge and age of the students.

The Lithuanian participants were impressed by the Yad Vashem Memorial Complex, the search for the tree that was planted in the Complex for Onai Shimaite – the rescuer of Lithuanian Jews who was awarded the title “Righteous Among the Nations,” the Yad Vashem History Museum, the Yad Vashem Institutional Archive, and the visit to the Theodor Herzl Museum.

The activities that were not included in the workshops – tours of the Old City of Jerusalem, the history of the Masada Fortress, and the Old City of Jaffa – served to deepen the understanding that the purpose of the international seminars is to learn from each other, not only to gain knowledge but also to gain ideas for one’s work and for the implementation of one’s future plans.

The long-standing experience of the Yad Vashem International School of Holocaust Studies provided Lithuanian educators with knowledge and methods of presenting topics about the Holocaust and intolerance to students.

It is worth mentioning the words of Erika Liukienė, a Lithuanian language teacher who participated in the Yad Vashem seminar in 2015: “Participating in the Yad Vashem seminar was such an event in my life that gave me so much in terms of knowledge and emotions that I will probably never have such an experience again. It really changed me and my perspective on many things”.

20 Lithuanian teachers and educators participated in the 2023 seminar-internship. Lithuanian teachers have been participating in international internships in Israel since 2003 as part of a cooperation agreement between Yad Vashem and the International Commission.

About participation in the seminar-internship – article by teacher Birutė Augustanavičiūtė (a link).