Due to the war in Ukraine, our teacher training seminar for Ukrainian teachers had to be held online this year. The consortium partners were closely watching the situation and deeply concerned about the safety of the teachers there. Before the start of the seminar, all participants were asked not to pay attention to safety warnings and follow all safety measures. Despite the dire situation in the country and the fact that the seminar was held during the summer break in Ukraine, more than seventy teachers joined us for a six-hour teacher training seminar “Teaching Jewish Heritage – Using Jewish Cemeteries in Class” on August 3rd and 4th 2022. The seminar language was Ukrainian which enabled us to engage more educators. The program was developed to ensure that the participants receive both theoretical knowledge about Jewish life and Jewish heritage in Ukraine and get the chance to use the acquired knowledge in practice, working on ideas of how they could use Jewish cemeteries in the classroom. We invited Dr. Marta Havryshko, director of Babyn Yar Interdisciplinary Studies Institute, to present on Jewish life and heritage in Ukraine on the first day. Dr. Havryshko held a comprehensive lecture on the origins of Jewish life in Ukraine, as well as the history and evolution of Jewish-Ukrainian relations. Following the lecture, Dr. Vladyslava Moskalets from the Ukrainian Catholic University narrowed the focus and showed a presentation on “Jewish Cemetery as a Mirror of the Town”. Dr. Moskalets talked about the history of Jewish gravestone symbols, and about the signs and attributes of a Jewish cemetery. The second day was more practical, Dr. Kateryna Malakhova from ESJF led a workshop on epitaph and Jewish headstone symbols. She not only talked about the Jewish symbols on the cemeteries, but also explained how to read the symbols and epitaphs. Participants practiced reading epitaphs themselves. After that, knowing much more about the Jewish history on Ukrainian territories, learning how to find and distinguish a Jewish cemetery and what one could learn reading epitaphs, we discussed how to use this knowledge in the classroom. Two Centropa teachers shared their excellent projects about Jewish cemeteries in Ukraine and led the participants through all the various stages of their projects; from determining goals to dissemination of the finished project. They shared their experience on how to interest and motivate students, how to find a connection between Jewish and Ukrainian heritage and history, and how to enlist the support of local governments. Finally, participants worked in groups to brainstorm future project ideas and presented the topics and goals of these potential projects to each other. All the participants were active and eager to share their experiences and ideas. We want to thank our supporters, the European Commission, for making this seminar possible.

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