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A new IWitness webpage supports teacher to combat antisemitism


The USC Shoah Foundation and UNESCO launched a new webpage entitled "Addressing Anti-Semitism" in an online event on 14 December 2021.

The webpage is designed as an interactive online tool to provide teachers and learners with resources and materials to learn about antisemitism and its consequence. It responds to increased antisemitic hate, conspiracy theories and prejudices both online and offline.  

UNESCO and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institution and Human Rights (ODIHR) have jointly published a set of four training curricula to help teachers at different school levels and school directors to prevent and respond to antisemitism. The curricula suggest concrete ways to address antisemitism and counter prejudice in and through education, while promoting human rights, global citizenship education and gender equality.

The webpage provides lesson resources and video-based testimonies that support these curricula, for different age groups and in six languages, as part of the USC Shoah Foundation’s world class IWitness platform.

The webpage was launched in the presence of Rabbi Andrew Baker, Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office on Combating Anti-Semitism and Director of International Jewish Affairs at the American Jewish Committee.

Rabbi Baker said, “Education has always been a real hope for combatting and reversing antisemitism. We now have thoughtful questions for teachers and school administrators to help them understand their own role and responsibility for not only teaching about antisemitism, but also for eliminating it from their classrooms and schools.”

Addressing the event, the Hon. Irwin Cotler, Canada’s Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Fighting Antisemitism, said, “this initiative is exactly the kind of global approach that is needed as an antidote to the resurgent global antisemitism by helping to build global citizenship and promoting and protecting human rights and the rule of law.”

In a panel discussion on “Addressing Anti-Semitism: the role of educators and education”, speakers underlined the importance of supporting teachers in their efforts to equip young people with skills and tools to resist and counter antisemitism. Panellists included Melissa Mott, Director of Echoes and Reflections, Anti-Defamation League, Felisa Tibbitts, UNESCO Chair in Human Rights and Higher Education and Esra Özyürek, Sultan Qaboos Professor of Abrahamic Faiths and Shared Values at the University of Cambridge.

The webpage supports UNESCO’s and ODIHR’s commitment to address anti-Semitism through education, through capacity building events for Member States, guidance for policymakers and the development of an online course for educators.