In commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2024 and in response to the escalating global issue of Antisemitism since October 7th, The Network for Innovative Holocaust Education, comprising 140 members from 23 countries, is taking a stand.
Holocaust educators, scholars, and activists have come together to declare in unison:”NEVER AGAIN IS NOW” – conveyed in 11 languages, representing a collective effort from 12 countries worldwide. Individuals, both Jewish and non-Jewish, spanning various age groups, including descendants of Holocaust survivors and descendants of Nazi perpetrators, stand in unity against the resurgence of Antisemitism.
This statement not only addresses the global community but also resonates as a powerful message to the local communities within these countries.
We are in a time where antisemitism is prevalent, and bigotry is making a significant impact, setting the tone for alarming developments. Ulvåus, a Norwegian scholar, teaches us that every act of violence involves different players – the perpetrator, the victim, and the silent majority – some siding with the perpetrator and some with the victim. The insight is that all players are affected, and if we want to break the cycle of violence, we must give voice to that silent majority. However, the only way to succeed is if they do it together, as a group. Otherwise, fear takes over and prevents us from doing the right thing.
Five months ago, I founded The Network for Innovative Holocaust Education. I discovered that the foundation of our network was seemingly laid to prepare us for such a time, a time of crisis when both Jews and non-Jews want to make their voices heard, to act against the terrible injustices in the world, particularly antisemitism and hatred. It is a world where even those engaged in Holocaust and genocide education may hesitate to speak out or remain neutral against the war on terror aimed at destroying the people of Israel.
The Network for Innovative Holocaust Education (NIHE)
The Network for Innovative Holocaust Education is a community of 140 educators, scholars, authors, artists, and activists from 23 different countries. We join forces to learn together, support one another, and advance innovative tools and approaches to ensure that Holocaust education remains relevant.
NIHE members meet twice a month for study sessions where network members present tools for Holocaust education or new projects in the field. These interactive sessions aim to assist both presenters and the audience. Additionally, there are networking sessions on Zoom. The overarching goal is to operate together, to collaborate.
After October 7th, our goal materialized quickly. We postponed plans for that week and instead met online to think about what we could do together to help in the fight. As a result, several exciting initiatives were born. One such initiative is COFFEE PAL, designed to connect Israelis with people from different parts of the world to foster understanding and support. Seventy participants from various corners of the globe, including Israel, actively engaged in this impactful initiative. Zipornit from Israel reflected on her experience, stating, “I met Stacey from New Jersey. Our conversation was truly fascinating. It had been quite a while since I interacted with Jews from across the sea. Stacey’s perspective provided me with strength and encouragement. Thank you!” Meanwhile, Tracy from the US expressed her enthusiasm, saying, “I love the idea of being able to text/FaceTime Israeli citizens, offering support during times of need or any time, really.”
Another project involves partnerships between schools in Israel and around the world, connecting educators teaching Holocaust education and their students. This initiative has led to profound connections and understanding between students, fostering a sense of shared humanity. Heather Land, M.Ed., English Department Chair at Mountain View High School, shared the profound impact: ‘The students said many of the Israeli students wanted to know what America’s perception was of Israel and the war. They wanted to know what my high school students thought about it too. My kids also realized they had many similarities with the Israeli students. They loved the connections they could make with them and yet understand how vastly different their lives are in reference to the war.'”
To honor International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2024, the members of our network have initiated a significant and meaningful effort, uniting in response to the growing global challenge of antisemitism. This video has both an international meaning and a local meaning- that is why we chose to use the local language- so that each member can deliver a message not just to the world- but to the members of his\her community.
For me- it also has a personal meaning because it is proof that we have successfully created a vibrant and meaningful community with people such as:
Misko Stanisic from Serbia, Director and cofounder of Terraforming, facilitator and creator, Holocaust memory, education and countering antisemitism and anti gypsyism, founder of the Center for Combating Antisemitism and Intolerance CBA
Eleftheria Koukoura from Greece, professor of Greek language and literature & Holocaust scholar
Noemie Lopian from the UK, Holocaust educator at HolocaustMatters.org
Sangita Paul from India, Researcher in Holocaust & Genocide Studies & Documentary filmmaker
and many more wonderful people from all around the world to whom I am so thankful for.
We invite you to stand with us, in unity, against the resurgence of hatred. Together, let us make a collective impact to ensure that the lessons of history are not lost.
Visit The Network for Innovative Holocaust Education’s website: https://www.innovativeholocausteducation.org/