A partnership between the Aladdin Project and the Shoah Memorial : new training courses for teachers in France

A partnership between the Aladdin Project and the Shoah Memorial : new training courses for teachers in France

The Aladdin Project has reached an agreement with the Shoah Memorial for the training of teachers and school headmasters on topics that will help them combat anti-Semitism and xenophobia in schools in France.  "The Aladdin Project's experience in the fight against anti-Semitism, racism and Holocaust denial, especially in the Muslim world, combined with the unique experience of the Shoah Memorial in teachers’ training will make this programme an important and effective asset that could inspire other European countries," said Leah Pisar, President of the Aladdin Project.

In response to the spread of identity-related tensions, attacks on secularism, anti-Semitism and racism in many schools, the Shoah Memorial, in partnership with the Aladdin Project will, in 2018-2019, offer teachers and school principals from interested regional education authorities trainings on the following topics:

- The fate of the Jews during the Second World War, particularly in the Arab-Muslim world

- The history of anti-Semitism in the Arab-Muslim world

- The history of the Jews in the Arab-Muslim world

- History of religion

By addressing the history of Jewish-Muslim relations, the history of anti-Semitism in the Arab-Muslim world as well as the Holocaust and the Arab-Muslim world, the training courses aim at increasing the knowledge pupils have of their historical and cultural background as well as of theirs of their ancestors, in the context of the history of these intercultural relations. For the first time, the history of religion will also be added to these training courses.

The objective is to enable teachers, particularly those teaching history, moral and civic education, economic and social sciences as well as literature, to better respond to the misconceptions and stereotypes of some pupils, thus helping to consolidate a set of shared values and finally to build a common history based on a clear understanding of the historical and sociological realities. A pedagogical kit comprised of books from the "Shared History" collection of the Aladdin Project and a pedagogical dossier will be distributed to each participant.

The Aladdin Project has been involved since 2014 in the training of students, teachers and education officials. Our action (publications, meetings, conferences and seminars) was however first directed at the countries of the Mediterranean area. The dramatic events that have followed one another in France since the Toulouse and Montauban massacres in March 2012, and which themselves, had for many years followed an increase in the number of racist and anti-Semitic attacks and incidents, have led the Aladdin Project to set up training programmes in France.

After a reassessment of the programme, the board of directors of the Aladdin Project has decided to pursue this programme in partnership with the Shoah Memorial. The implementation and effective monitoring of a national training programme requires the skills and experience of an organization such as the Shoah Memorial.