August 27, 2020

Joint Teacher Training Event Wraps Up in Kaunas

It is the second and final day of the ESJF’s teacher training seminar in Kaunas, Lithuania: “Teaching Jewish heritage in your class. Using Jewish cemeteries in education”. The seminar, run in partnership with Centropa, has brought educators from across Lithuania together to learn about teaching Jewish heritage in a meaningful, engaging way.

Yesterday, attendees took part in a workshop on Jewish headstones and epitaphs, led by Lara Lempertiene of the Judaic Department of the Lithuanian National Library. They also watched screenings of documentaries by the ESJF and Centropa and received a lecture on the Jewish heritage of Lithuania and the Kaunas region from Asia Gutermanaitė, who then led a walking tour of Jewish Kaunas.

Today, activities continued with an early morning visit to the Kaunas Jewish cemetery, followed by a tour of the Kaunas choral synagogue, led by Mauša Bairakas. After lunch, the attendees came together in groups to present school projects on Jewish heritage they had developed for their students and attended a workshop on educational scriptwriting and filmmaking from Centropa. Now that they have received their certificates, these teachers are ready to bring what they learned about Jewish heritage education to their own classrooms.

This seminar was part of our EU-funded Pilot Project, “Protecting the Jewish Cemeteries of Europe”, in which, over the coming months, ESJF, Centropa, and the Foundation for Jewish Heritage will continue to roll out similar educational events in Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Ukraine, and Georgia. It is our hope that, in doing so, we can help encourage the next generation to take an interest in protecting their local Jewish heritage.

We are delighted to see how well this seminar went, and would like to thank everyone who attended, as well as Centropa, Asia Gutermanaitė, Mauša Bairakas, Gintare Liorončaitė, and Saulius Skučas, for making the event such a success.

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