Laude-Reut Holocaust and Remembrance Projects

LAUDE-REUT AT MARCH OF THE LIVING EMERGING EUROPEAN LEADERS SEMINAR IN VILNIUS, SEPTEMBER 2019

 

Part of the March of the Living International Network and as official representative in Romania, the Magna cum Laude-Reut Foundation – the Laude-Reut Educational Complex was invited to the Emerging European Leaders Seminar in Vilnius, September 2019, on the occasion of the National Memorial Day for the Genocide of the Lithuanian Jews, organized in partnership with the International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania.

 

Alongside with Mr. Victor Micula, State Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Irina Sanda Marin Cajal, Under-State Secretary in the Romanian Ministry of Culture, the Laude-Reut Educational Complex was represented by Diana Gherasimiuc, History teacher, and Daria Goldenberg and Lara Tifui, students who underwent the March of the Living experience.

Besides the debates, discussions and meetings with leading historians, academics and educators from the International Commission Nazi Sub-Commission and the International March of the Living, the participants walked the memory road to the Ponary Memorial, as a silent tribute to the victims of the Holocaust.


Talk the talk and walk the walk is one of my most favorite English expressions and it has become a life motto. I think it encompasses everything I believe in. As a teacher, I do a lot of talking and that means talking about past events, about heroes and life changing ideas in history, about micro events, major fallouts and so many other things. To what purpose you might ask? I count it as one of my life’s blessings to be able to form young minds into responsible adults, active in society and eager to help the community.

 

Teaching the Holocaust is difficult. It touches sensitive cords and it places me in a position I hate when I have to answer a question and I don’t know how to do it. When kids ask how was it possible for so many people to be killed so brutally I have no answer. If I did I would be arrogant but I confess that I do my best to try and explain because, at the end of each class, after we have done the talk we must do the walk and never allow such atrocities to happen again.

 

As March of the Living participants we did another walk, as well. The walk that brought shivers down my spine. And this fall, in Vilnius, I did yet another walk. I walked the distance from life to death as it was perceived by the Lithuanian Jews in Vilna. I did that along with hundreds of other people, young and old, and once again I vowed that I would keep on doing the talk that will never allow such a walk ever again.

 

Diana Gherasimiuc, History teacher

 

From the 21st to the 24th of September I had the honor to participate at a seminar in Vilnius, Lithuania. The subject of this seminar was Emerging European Leaders and I had the chance to hear the thoughts of other fellow teenagers from all throughout Europe on racism, xenophobia and mainly the rising rates of antisemitism. As I mentioned above, in the first days of the seminar, I got to share my experience and opinion on the afore mentioned subjects with teenagers but also with decision makers from Lithuania and the European March of the Living Network, the organizers of this event. In the last day, we commemorated the victims of the Holocaust and we had the chance to hear survivors from the ghetto of Vilnius in the former ghetto territory but also at the Ponary memorial.

This seminar was a great opportunity for me seeing as I had the chance to discover even more about the history of the Holocaust and I also talked with fellow young leaders. Throughout this event I understood more about the importance of a strong working network and a young generation that truly understands the meaning of the words “Never Again”.

 

Daria Goldenberg, 11U

 

Our visit to Vilnius, Lithuania was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. I got to experience a lot in just barely 3 days. First of all, Vilnius was an unexpectedly charming city, with warm people and streets even though the weather was so cold. Second of all, I was impressed by the effort of the people who organised the small march which was similar to the March of the Living in Poland. Even though Lithuania is a small country, the will of the people who want to remember the events of the past and to mourn the victims of the Holocaust was beyond any borders. Lastly, I appreciated the fact that the organisers had invited young people from different countries to attend the ceremonies, and I was honoured to be a part of this event.

Lara Țifui, 10U

 

THE SERISE – SHARED EUROPEAN REMEMBRANCE IN INNOVATIVE SCHOOL EDUCATION COMMUNITY OF SCHOOLS, JOINT STAFF TRAINING SEMINAR, BUDAPEST 2019

 

This event came shortly after the participation of Tova Ben Nun-Cherbis, Laude-Reut Founding President, Corneliu Cherbis, Laude-Reut Board of Trustees member and Mirela Constantin, Laude-Reut teacher to the SERISE – Shared European Remembrance in Innovative School Education Community of Schools, Joint Staff Training Seminar, that took place on 22-25.8.2019 in Budapest, Hungary, at the invitation of The EMOTL – European March of the Living Network Project.

 

The Laude-Reut representatives presented their experience and engagement with the Holocaust education, thus sharing best practices with their fellows from abroad, regarding projects such as the participation of young students in March of the Living – an international project for which Laude-Reut is the official representative in Romania, learning about the Jewish and Israeli culture, publishing books on history and Holocaust topics and sharing them to students from as many schools in Bucharest as possible to raise awareness, active participation of students in conferences and debates at government and other high levels etc. – see presentation and videos.

 

Thank you for the opportunity to attend the EMOTL seminar in Budapest. I was very impressed by your hard work, dedication and commitment. I admire also the effort of the Hungarian team in organizing the event and showing us the Holocaust monuments.

I found the seminar really insightful and interesting, even more than I expected. All participants were open to share their experiences and activities in preparing the March of the Living event. They were sincere and easy to work with in the planned workshops. We discovered we organized many similar activities without knowing each other before.

After attending this Seminar, we feel even more motivated to continue our work in teaching about the Holocaust and participating in March of the Living.

 

Mirela Constantin, Laude-Reut teacher

 

I would like to express my gratitude for the kind invitation to the European March of the Living Network seminar that took place in Budapest on 22-25 August 2019, to which it was a great honor for me to participate, share the Laude-Reut experience on the topic and learn best practices from the fellow guests.

During this seminar, I was impressed by the participation of representatives from schools and organizations that do not necessarily have a Jewish background, I was impressed by the number of educators struggling to teach the young generations the true and tragic history of the Jewish people.

 

In the detailed presentations, I could see the labor of the educators as they go deep into painful topics, pouring their feeling and dedication to change the world of tomorrow by enlightening the young minds, fighting for the Holocaust education to be a compulsory study for life. For some of them, this is a risky feat, as the guest from Greece described to us: while team-teaching on the Holocaust along with a Jewish teacher, their colleagues, teachers of other subjects in the same school, professed anti-Semitic and extremist attitudes and language towards them. And this is happening in a European school today!

Therefore, any small initiative regarding Holocaust education should be supported and developed even more so today when we should all be worried about the re-emergence of the anti-Semitic, xenophobic and intolerant trends in the world. We should raise awareness toward each and every one that such trends are dangerous for the humanity, not just some countries or nations – it is a common fight, not just the fight of the Jewish people and I salute the representatives of Austria, Hungary and Germany, Greece, Lithuania who share the same opinion.

I am happy that ERASMUS projects encourage Holocaust education and we expect to increase the Laude-Reut participation in the March of the Living from a small scale of 20-30 Romanian high school pupils annually into a larger national one of 200 students, if budget allows it. 

 

Together, we have the mission of raising the future ambassadors of goodwill and remembrance so that Holocaust will happen NEVER AGAIN!

 

Tova Ben Nun-Cherbis, Laude-Reut President & Founder

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