New report finds that Holocaust education is expanding in Africa, the Arab World, and Eastern Europe
Annual study from TAU's Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry provides encouraging newsSupport this research
On Januaty 26, 2023, the day before 2023’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at Tel Aviv University (TAU) published its annual report, this year entitled For a Righteous Cause. It focuses on initiatives of governments and citizens around the world to preserve Jewish heritage, teach about the Holocaust, and combat anti-Semitism and racism in general. The report expresses appreciation for inspiring initiatives, encourages other similar activities, and proposes ways for further improvement.
The findings presented in the report indicate that recognizing the Holocaust and teaching lessons derived from it have recently expanded, even in countries where Holocaust education was uncommon, including in Africa and the Arab World. Alongside this positive trend, many educational, social, and legal initiatives for combating Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism have been advanced in Western Europe, America, and Australia, indicating broad recognition of the problem and its severity.
A few major findings of this year’s report:
- Significant new initiatives in several Eastern European countries for teaching the history of the Holocaust and fighting anti-Semitism have been launched
- Cyprus has become a leader in the fight against anti-Semitism and racism in its region
- Interest in Holocaust education has grown in several African countries
- There is a growing recognition of the Holocaust in the Arab world, alongside a renewed cultivation of Jewish heritage
- There has been a wave of educational and legislative initiatives in Western Europe, the United States, and Australia
“Regretfully, it must be admitted that despite global support for the fight against anti-Semitism, being a Jew has become less safe almost everywhere in the world,” says Professor Uriya Shavit, Head of the Center. “But giving up the struggle is not the solution. We must learn systematically, in a comparative manner, what has been done and what can be improved.
“While our purpose was to highlight positive initiatives for combating anti-Semitism all over the world, we also noted at the beginning of the report that his fight must not become the only identity-definer of Jewish intellectuals and organizations. The Jewish moral compass must not be limited to this issue alone, and the study of Jewish history should not focus solely on the Holocaust. Israel cannot express reservations about European political parties with roots in fascism and expect to find a different attitude in Europe toward Israeli parties with fascist roots.”
The report was authored by eight experts from different disciplines, including Dr. Carl Yonker, Project Manager and Senior Researcher at the Center; Professor Dina Porat, the Center’s Founder; Dr. Ofir Winter; Adv. Talia Naamat; and researcher Fabian Spengler.
The full text of the report can be found here.