ESJF Educational Work Wraps Up in Lithuania

The final event of ESJF’s EU-funded educational programme in Lithuania took place today.

The teacher training webinar, which drew attendance from 22 educators across the country, covered Jewish life in Lithuania prior to the Second World War, the preservation of Jewish cemeteries in the country, and Lithuanian synagogues, ending with a questions and answers session during which teachers were able to discuss what they had learned. Speakers included Meilė Platūkienė, Dr Vilma Gradinskaite, and Lara Lempert.

This is the second trial with online education events ESJF has carried out in Lithuania, with our secondary school outreach webinar series, “What the Old Jewish Cemetery Says”, running from April 28th to May 8th, and reaching 189 students from across the country.

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic imposed severe limitations on our educational work in Lithuania, forcing us to restructure the entire programme. However, thanks to the rapid efforts from our team to convert the programme to an online format, we have been able to effectively spread our message about the necessity of teaching Jewish heritage as a part of Lithuania’s cultural heritage as a whole.

Feedback for all of the events has been positive, and we are compiling our experiences from the webinars for addition to our educational handbook: “Jewish Cemeteries in the Classroom – An ESJF Guide”, which we intend to release upon delivery of the final report for our first EU pilot project, and hope will serve as a valuable resource to any educator hoping to continue the work of exploring Jewish cemeteries with their students.

We would like to thank Meilė Platūkienė, Dr Vilma Gradinskaite, and Lara Lempert for their part in making this event such a success.