World Jewish Congress to launch Holocaust education website, with support from UNESCO

PARIS – The World Jewish Congress will launch a website dedicated to Holocaust education, with the support of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day. WJC CEO and Executive Vice President Robert Singer and UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova have signed a letter of agreement to finalize the project, geared at providing youth with essential information about the history of the Holocaust, its denial, and its legacy. 

The interactive website will include a range of content, including a chronology of the Holocaust, facts that all students should know, video testimonies of survivors, and latest news updates about Holocaust denial, Nazis, and collaborators. At the heart of the website will be the “Educate A Friend” feature, which will enable users to ‘nominate’ a friend to receive automatic emails containing information and facts.

The website will be paired with a wide-reaching social media campaign to reach hundreds and thousands of young people and expose them to the truth about the Holocaust, with the goal of reaching a million people altogether. Initially, the website will be available in English, French, and Spanish.

The WJC will work together with UNESCO’s Section of Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship on the project. UNESCO will be lending its support for the development and review of the site’s content, help with promotion of the site, and based on availability of funds, to provide translations in two relevant United Nations languages.

In a confirming the partnership, Bokova said: “We are delighted to support the World Jewish Congress on this important new project. UNESCO’s mandate is to empower young people to become proactive citizens who can resist ideologies of hatred, online and offline. I am convinced that this new interactive website and communication campaign, especially designed for younger generations, will bring a valuable response to the spread of Holocaust denial and distortion and other contemporary forms of anti-Semitism and racism.”

Singer said: “The World Jewish Congress is deeply committed to advancing Holocaust education worldwide, a commitment that I know is shared by UNESCO and Director General Bokova.

“Though we can help provide the tools, it is the responsibility of national governments to ensure that this history is a core element of curriculum for every student. Under Bokova’s leadership, UNESCO has worked diligently to promote a global program of Holocaust education to empower youth to fight xenophobia, racism, and anti-Semitism. We very much looking forward to working together with UNESCO on this important initiative.”

At the WJC’s plenary assembly in April, Bokova launched UNESCO first-ever Holocaust education policy as a resource for curriculum developers and textbook writers, and to provide effect recommendations to facilitate debate on these issues in classrooms.

The World Jewish Congress is an Official Partner of UNESCO, with associate status since 2012.

Singer also met with incoming UNESCO General Audrey Azoulay in Paris last week to discuss mutual priorities.

World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder held a farewell reception in Bokova’s honor in New York in September, citing the close relationship and mutual trust that has developed between their offices over the years and praising her for her “great courage, great determination, despite difficult times.” Bokova’s term as director general will end this December.

“No good deed goes unpunished, and Irina has done many good deeds. She has fought critical battles, sometimes winning and sometimes losing, but always on the right side,” Lauder said. “She has done great miracles when it comes to Holocaust education. Education is something that UNESCO is made for… with the right education we can conquer anything and this is thanks to your dedication and commitment.”

For more information about UNESCO’s programme on education about the Holocaust and genocide, please visit https://en.unesco.org/themes/holocaust-genocide-education

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