During a visit to Yad Vashem, the Memorial and Museum dedicated to Holocaust remembrance in Jerusalem, Italian Minister of Education and Research Francesco Profumo met with Italian educators who are currently participating in a teacher-training seminar at the International School for Holocaust Studies.
Thirty outstanding Italian high school students who have written essays on the Holocaust, and have completed educational projects related to the memory of the Holocaust, accompanied the Minister.
The group spent over 3 hours at Yad Vashem, including an emotional tour of the Holocaust History Museum and meeting with senior educational staff at Yad Vashem.
The visit is intended to strengthen the agreement that was signed last year by Israeli minister of Education Gideon Sa'ar and the Italian Ministry of Education.
According to the understanding, Italian teachers will be trained in teaching the Holocaust and there will be a youth exchange program between Israel and Italy.
As part of the agreement, each year the Italian Ministry of Education will choose teachers who will undergo training at Yad Vashem's International School for Holocaust Studies.
These educators will then teach the subject at high schools throughout Italy. This week’s Italian educators’ seminar is the third such seminar this year at Yad Vashem.
Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev, who welcomed the Minister, declared : “We are already seeing the fruits of the agreement that was signed between the two countries. Yad Vashem is prepared to provide educators with the best tools and knowledge in order to promote Holocaust education in Italy. Paradoxically, as the events of the Shoah recede in time, it has become more meaningful. It is important that educators - those shaping our culture and our future – confront the Holocaust, as they are preparing future generations to be the citizens of tomorrow's society.”
The Minister said he is personally committed to deepening and broadening Holocaust education in Italy.
“The memory of what happened then is part of European civilization. It not only concerns the past, but also the present and the future,” said Minister Profumo. “We don’t want to go back to a time when Man became an object.”