The Connecticut Jewish Ledger did a feature story on one of the training sessions for the 40 Rwandan Educators that were at the University of Hartford from July 28 to Aug. 22. As part of their teacher training program, the educators from Rwanda listened to a talk by Rabbi Philip Lazowski, a Holocaust survivor, and his wife Ruth.
Avinoam Patt, the Feltman Professor of Modern Jewish History at the University and assistant director of the University's Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies, led the session and said it was a tremendous learning experience to bring together two groups of people who have both experienced genocide.
“For the educators to meet them and hear them say that they’re among the last Holocaust survivors, the educators are looking into their future and thinking about what happens when, years from now, there are no survivors of the Rwandan genocide,” Patt told the Jewish Ledger
The class learned about the various ways in which Jews have memorialized the Holocaust and discussed how to apply those approaches to their country’s tragedy. As with Holocaust education, the task before the Rwandan teachers is to impart memory to students who did not experience first-hand the event being commemorated. Not only that, Patt says, but they will have to teach the topic in English, removing it even further from the students’ experience.
Click here to read the full story, which was published in the Thursday, Aug. 28 issue of the Jewish Ledger.