03MAY2019

“New World” complex educational package

The fight against antisemitism through the means of education should begin from as early an age as possible. Various informal, educational projects exist that work towards this goal, using a number of different methods. However, these projects often operate separately and on an ad hoc basis in educational institutions, hence they lack an overarching concept or idea for the students. This makes the projects less efficient, and their short and long term impact becomes more difficult to evaluate. Generally speaking, Jewish history and religion are not part of the national curriculum in secondary schools. In the rare cases when aspects of Judaism are taught, the main focus is on the Holocaust, which often has a negative and counterproductive effect. For this reason, the main objective of the New World project was to educate students on topics such as Hungary’s role in the Holocaust (which is still not fully accepted by Hungarian society), prejudices, radicalisation and Jewish identity.

With the professional leadership and support of the Tom Lantos Institute, a complex educational project was realised. Its components build on each
other, following a single line of thought: it incorporates the performance of the play New World, a subsequent drama-based pedagogical session and finally, 2-3 weeks later, an informal educational class led by the Haver Foundation. Each step of the programme was evaluated using a variety of methods such as mini-interviews, participants’ reports and questionnaires. Following a short literature review, this report intends to give a summary of the concept, structure, conclusions and results of the project. The report is dedicated to participants and leaders of similar initiatives, as well as to a wider audience of individuals interested in the topic.

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