OSCE Press release: Published on the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights,
(and received by mail from HREA, the Human Rights Education Associates).
WARSAW/JERUSALEM, 19 December 2007 — The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), and Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, today launched a guide for teachers on how to address anti-Semitism.
The educational resource was launched during a visit of the ODIHR Director, Ambassador Christian Strohal, to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, where he met Director of Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies, Dorit Novak.
“We enjoy excellent co-operation with Yad Vashem, which is not only an exceptional memorial, but also a renowned educational institution that works with teachers from different countries,” said Ambassador Strohal.
The guide, Addressing Antisemitism: Why and How?, provides educators with practical suggestions and background information on how to address issues pertaining to contemporary anti-Semitism, ranging from Holocaust denial to expressions of anti-Zionism and the use of anti-Semitic symbols. It informs about different anti-Semitic stereotypes and makes suggestions on how to respond to them.
“We are pleased to be working so closely with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights on this user-friendly educational resource. Our experience with educators from around the world has illustrated that, unfortunately, anti-Semitism is a phenomenon that has not disappeared, and that there is a real need to provide educators with the tools necessary to confront it. We shall introduce these guidelines in our professional development seminars for teachers, clergy and policy makers from around the world, ” said Novak.
Strohal added: “Since manifestations of anti-Semitism sadly continue across the OSCE region, it is crucial to engage with this topic in educational settings. Teachers and students alike should be able to recognize and reject anti-Semitic stereotypes and anti-Semitic thinking and this guide for educators is designed to contribute to these efforts.”
Since 2003, OSCE participating States have made specific commitments to combat anti-Semitism and encourage remembrance of the Holocaust. The teachers’ guide is one of the practical tools ODIHR has provided to support the implementation of these commitments.
This is the second online document developed by the ODIHR and by Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies. The first, Preparing Holocaust Memorial Days – Suggestions for Educators is currently available in 13 languages.
It can be downloaded at OSCE – Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and this site.