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In May 2010, Vilnius Yiddish Institute (VYI)’s Assistant Director, Ms Ruta Puisyte, and Lecturer, Dr Egle Bendikaite, participated in an International Expert Meeting held in Berlin to work on an educational project for combating anti-Semitism in Europe. National experts from 12 European countries took part. The creation of an educational kit for addressing anti-Semitism is one of the responses to anti-Semitism chosen by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR). The ODIHR initiated the Project, and works with individual governments and non-governmental organizations in fighting anti-Semitism in the region of the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE). The Vilnius Yiddish Institute took on this educational initiative and became the Project’s national partner from its inception in December 2005. Since then, the VYI has been working in cooperation with the ODIHR, the Anne Frank House and experts from other countries, developing teaching materials and a specific version for use in Lithuania. These materials address historical as well as contemporary anti-Semitism. They provide theoretical knowledge and practical skills for teachers, educators and students. The Berlin meeting of May 2010 was the second International Expert Meeting organized in the German capital. Sharing visions, project evaluation, exchanging ideas and good practices, as well as addressing questions of financing – these were the subject of intensive discussion, workshops, and work in groups during the three-day meeting. Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland and Ukraine were the countries which joined the Project at its inception in 2005. Russia, Slovakia and Spain joined in 2007. In 2009, Austria and Sweden entered the Project, as did Latvia and Hungary in 2010. Each country is at a different stage of the Project’s development. By May 2009, ten countries including Lithuania had produced national versions of the teaching materials, and conducted training sessions for the teachers and educators. In the same year, two countries – Lithuania and Poland – had officially launched their own country’s versions. This initiative by the VYI is intended to bring about changes in Lithuanian society through education about democratic values, human rights, discrimination as well as about anti-Semitism.
In the photo: a conference session in Berlin
|2005 VILNIUS YIDDISH INSTITUTE. Solution: Neosymmetria|