Teaching Ukrainian Jewish history: Seminar in Ivano-Frankivsk

With the help of the German Foreign Office and other supporters, Centropa and its partners in Ukraine and Moldova have held 12 training seminars for over 400 educators in Kyiv, Odessa, Lviv, Chisinau, as well as online workshops during the Covid 19 pandemic.

This seminar in Ivano Frankivsk in March received over 150 applications and was attended by 30 Ukrainian teachers and educators who traveled from all across their war-torn country, spending long hours on buses and trains, to participate in the seminar. The screening of the ‘A Message from the Future: Bosnia greets Ukraine’ film found particular resonance with our Ukrainian teachers, as we discussed how to retain hope in times of war.

Seminar highlights included:

  • Introduction to the new Centropa graphic novel “Return to Rivne. A Holocaust Story”, about two girls who hid with the help of a farmer’s family during WW2. 
  • An evening of Yiddish music with Tatyana Sukorkina and Olena Simieon
  • Introduction to Centropa‘s archive and Ukrainian biographies as well as to Centropa´s online exhibition by Centropa director Ed Serotta 
  • Screening of Centropa film “A Message from the Future. Bosnia greets Ukraine”
  • Interactive group work to develop lesson plans based on Centropa material
  • Tour of “Jewish Stanislaviv”, former name for Ivano-Frankivsk, with historian Andriy Kostyshyn; 
  • Workshop with Olga Polyak (Insha Osvita), with artistic practices to implement Centropa materials when teaching Jewish history 
  • Visit to former Jewish cemetery in Ivano-Frankivsk and meeting with Igor Perelman and volunteers who cleaned the cemetery and restored some of its tombstones