Online Seminar: “Connecting generations through multimedia tools and 20th century Jewish family stories”

From April 8 to April 18 we conducted the joint online-seminar “Connecting generations through multimedia tools and 20th century Jewish family stories in partnership with our project partners EVA; Jewish National and Cultural Autonomy & IBB Minsk/ Historical Workshop “Leonid Levin” and Sefer Center, Moscow. This seminar brought together around 80 educators in total from Belarus, Russia and Germany.

The first day started with the speeches of the guests of honor: Olga Slov, Consul General of the State of Israel in St. Petersburg, Stefanie Schneider, Consul, Department of Culture and Press, Consulate General of Germany in St. Petersburg as well as Natalia Astakhova, Head of Municipality Sennoy District, St. Petersburg (Special thanks to our guests of honor) followed by the presentation of the new project website as well as the key-note lecture on “History of Russian Jews, 1917-1941 by Ilja Barkussky PhD (Lecturers Bureau of the Sefer Center, Moscow).

On day 2, Centropa & IBB Minsk introduced the new Centropa film on Elena Drapkina: A female Jewish partisan, followed by the award ceremony and presentation of the best lesson plans, developed by Belarusian teachers  on how to use the film, as well as the new methodogical materials developed by Dr. Iryna Kashtalian & team who gave inspiration and guidance for using the film. Insights for talking about the Holocaust with teenagers were given by psychologist Dmitry Fainerman who answered questions from the participants on suitable topics and approaches to discuss the Holocaust with students of different age groups.

Day 3 began with an introduction into the Culture of Remembrance in Israel & Russia by Alexander Schneidmesser (Yad Vashem) which was succeeded by presentations of Holocaust memorial places in St. Petersburg, such as the Formula of Sorrow Monument in Pushkin and Holocaust Museum at Eva by Alexander Frenkel who presented the grassroot movement, Tanya Lvova from (Eva Jewish Charitable Organization, St. Petersburg) who showed us the exhibition and Lyudmila Bonyushko (Holocaust Survivor, guide of the Museum) who talked about her own story and how she guides visitors through the exhibition. Concluded was Day 3 by a presentation from German teacher Alexander King who talked about how he teaches the Holocaust in German school education and introduced a lesson plan.

Day 4 included presentations of Holocaust education and memorial projects in St. Petersburg about the projects: Masa Shorashim, Tolerance Festival, Yellow Stars Academic Music Concert by Maria Schwartz (Jewish National And Cultural Autonomy in St. Petersburg) & Tanya Lvova (Eva Jewish Charitable Organization, St. Petersburg) as well as Vyacheslav Zilberbord (The Foundation For Music Education Support, St. Petersburg)
Participants then gained insight into a model lesson plan on «Righteous Among the World’s Nations» which features Russian stories by Tatiana Polkovnikova (Associate professor, Social Education Department, Academy of Postgraduate Pedagogical Studies and history teacher, St.Petersburg) and were introduced by Fabian Rühle on how to use the Centropa database to research biographies which feature righteous stories told by Centropa interviewees.

For an additional program participants had the option to participate in a workshop, where they learned about Shabbat as well as Jewish traditions and took their practical skills to the test when they were shown how to make “Challah” by Alla Mitelman (Director of Shaarei Shalom Community for Progressive Judaism, St Petersburg). Tanya Lvova then took participants onto a virtual tour through the Great Choral Synagogue of St. Petersburg.
All days were accompanied by breakout-room sessions, where participants had the chance to discuss topics such as: Challenges of teaching Jewish History and ideas to develop materials on the Elena Drapkina film in Russia & Germany.

For more information, please see the program: