Ballyclare High School’s history teacher, Dr Kevin Conway, has returned to school having spent the first half of August studying in Israel with the Holocaust Educational Trust.
Dr Conway attended an international school run by Yad Vashem, the World
Holocaust Remembrance Centre located just outside Jerusalem.
The only teacher from the province to participate, he was part of a group of teachers from across the United Kingdom who attended an intensive programme of study on topics such as Holocaust education and effective ways to enable pupils to understand modern anti-Semitism and how it can best be countered. The group was led by Yad Vashem academic, Yiftach Meiri.
Dr Conway said he was particularly fascinated listening to a lecture given by the 93-year-old legendary Professor Emeritus Yehuda Bauer on ‘The Holocaust and Genocide’ which included analyses of other genocidal events in places like Rwanda and Darfur.
Another highlight was the opportunity to meet Nazi-hunter, Dr Efraim Zuroff, who is the Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Jerusalem.
All those attending the seminar programme were particularly moved when they listened to the testimony of Holocaust survivor, Ms Channa Meiri.
In addition to a comprehensive programme of lectures and seminars, Dr Conway was also given guided tours around the enormous Mount of Remembrance where Yad Vashem is located as well as attending the home of a Jewish family welcoming the Sabbath.
He also visited King Herod’s Fort at Masada in the Judean Desert, bathed in the Dead Sea and visited Tel Aviv.
Dr Conway said: “This was an unforgettable trip. Everyone was incredibly hospitable and the learning experience at Yad Vashem was phenomenal.
“All those who took part returned deeply enriched and challenged but with a huge desire to pass on our experiences and to become even more effective in our schools and communities tackling intolerance and the scourge of anti-Semitism.”