Earlier today a delegation composed of representatives from the European Jewish Association (Alex Benjamin, Director of Public Affairs), our partners from the Action and Protection Foundation /Hungary/ (Ferenc Olti, Board Member of the Hungarian Jewish Cultural Association and Kálmán Szalai, Secretary) as well as Chabad Jewish Centre of Malta (Rabbi Chaim Segal and Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Segal, Co-Directors) has met with H.E. Evarist Bartolo, Minister for Education and Employment of the Republic of Malta, and members of his secretariat.
The main topic of discussion has been the European Curriculum and Textbook Project against Antisemitism, which is based on a successful seven-year-long initiative recently concluded in Hungary. Earlier this year it has also received a “best practice” status from the European Commission. The cornerstone of the initiative is better familiarisation of youth with the history, culture and contributions of the European and local Jewish community, thereby facilitating mutual understanding, social dialogue and, of course, being able to more effectively combat and even prevent expressions of Antisemitism.
The project’s main idea is to adapt some of the Hungarian initiative’s elements in national educational curriculums – with, of course, the utmost consideration to local rules and practices. In order to do that, we approach national and/or regional educational authorities and professionals across the EU with the aim of establishing a dialogue, which might later transform into concrete proposals and potentially implemented items to be studied by the younger generation.
In the course of a productive conversation lasting more than an hour, touching upon the various aspects of the project, H.E. Mr. Minister has reciprocated interest in cooperation. We are most grateful to His Excellency and look forward to a fruitful partnership.
That said, this is just the first of many such meetings prospectively taking place in a number of EU Member States. More shall take place over the coming months.