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CEJI trains teachers and educators to combat prejudice


This article has been published in French by The Times of Israel: https://fr.timesofisrael.com/bruxelles-une-association-juive-forme-les-equipes-pedagogiques-contre-les-prejuges/

One of CEJI’s aims is to use education to combat acts of hatred in Europe, which have been on the increase since the 7th of October.

Following the upsurge in acts of hatred in Europe since the 7th of October, CEJI (Jewish Contribution for an Inclusive Europe) has noted that “many teachers and educators find themselves at a loss and lacking practical resources to address the consequences of the importation of war with their pupils“.

The media coverage of events and the mixing of information on social media create fertile ground for polarisation and antisemitic and Islamophobic demonstrations. These can take the form of prejudice and/or discriminatory acts that have a major impact on the school climate and have lasting repercussions on living together”, writes the association.

In front of this situation, CEJI – “convinced that pupils and school staff need to be better supported in managing the flow of information on this subject and the negative impact it can have” – is proposing to “actively train teaching teams to combat prejudice“, as it has been doing for more than thirty years.

“These training courses help participants to identify and defuse various stereotypes and prejudices, to take a step back from their cultural frame of reference and to understand the issues linked to notions of identity, beliefs and cultural codes”, says a CEJI press release.

In these troubled times, we are calling for more training in schools. It is not enough to say that we must not be racist or antisemitic, it is not enough to limit our actions to legislating. What we need to do is understand what this discrimination really means and the implications it has for our daily lives,” added Robin Sclafani, CEJI’s Executive Director. “Faced with such complex situations, schools need to be equipped with as many resources as possible, and CEJI would like to reiterate its commitment to working alongside them.

Schools in Belgium can contact the organisation via its website.

In the wake of the war and the Hamas massacres, other initiatives have been put in place, particularly for Jewish schools in the diaspora, whose staff and pupils have been traumatised by recent events, as has the Jewish world as a whole.

The UnitEd programme, created under the auspices of the Israeli Ministry for the Diaspora, gives Jewish teachers abroad the tools they need to inform pupils and staff and learn how to deal with the crisis.