Until the end of 2018, the central theme of our teacher training, workshops and other events will be the acts of rescue carried out by social worker Irena Sendler and the underground network of nurses and social workers she co-ordinated.
Irena Sendler is credited with having saved the lives of some 2,500 Jewish children in the Warsaw Ghetto during the Second World War. In recognition of this, Yad Vashem has named her as one of The Righteous Among the Nations. Her “tree of righteousness” stands alone at the entrance to Yad Vashem’s Garden of Remembrance, reflecting the esteem in which she is held by the Jewish community. She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.
To mark the tenth anniversary of her death, 2018 has been officially designated “The Year of Irena Sendler”. Learning from the Righteous is working in partnership with other agencies to make as many people as possible aware of her remarkable story.
A series of new age-appropriate teaching resource packs are being developed and will be made accessible to teachers via our updated website. Each pack will be themed around an act of rescue carried out by Irena Sendler and the underground network she co-ordinated. Guidance will be provided to help teachers acquire the level of confidence and knowledge to use our resources effectively.
A multi-panel travelling exhibition will be available to be displayed in schools to give visual impact to the workshops. As outlined below, this exhibition will also be displayed in other public spaces throughout the year.
TEACHER TRAINING AND STUDY TRIPS
During The Year of Irena Sendler, we will be using our teacher training days and study trips to give educators a deeper understanding of the subject. This will enable them to deliver the workshops more confidently and give them the tools to encourage the young participants to devise practical ways of making a positive impact on society.
Throughout 2018 we will be running
- specific “Sendler Network” workshop programmes in schools throughout the United Kingdom
- stimulating two-session programmes of study in partnership with the National Holocaust Centre in Nottingham, each of which will include the testimony of a Holocaust survivor.
At the conclusion of each workshop, the schools will be required to dedicate a tree in Irena Sendler’s honour. Our aim is to encourage the planting of 2,500 “trees of righteousness” by the end of 2018. Each tree will represent one of the 2,500 children saved by the “Sendler Network “.
All the work produced by during the “Sendler Network” workshops will be collated and published at the end of the year in the “2018 Learning from the Righteous Anthology”.
THE TRAVELLING EXHIBITION
2018 will see the introduction of our new multi-panel “Irena Sendler Travelling Exhibitions”. These will be on display at our events, schools, conferences and at other venues throughout the country.
In previous years we have produced high quality exhibitions that reach beyond the educational establishments we lead workshops in. We have exhibited at The Polish Embassy, The New North London Synagogue, Limmud, our events and at numerous other conferences and teacher-training days.
THE IRENA SENDLER GARDEN OF REMEMBRANCE
Learning from the Righteous is establishing an Irena Sendler Garden of Remembrance in the grounds of the National Holocaust Centre. The garden will be dedicated on Sunday 13th May 2018 to coincide with the 10th anniversary of her death. This special event will be attended by invited guests and VIPs from different religious and cultural backgrounds and will include the Irena Sendler Travelling Exhibition as well as presentations from children who have participated in our workshops.
THE IRENA SENDLER AMBASSADOR SCHEME
In partnership with the Irena Sendler Schools in Poland, the Lowell Milken Center for the Unsung Hero in America, The Polish Education Society in the United Kingdom and The Museum of the History of Jews in Poland, Learning from the Righteous is co-ordinating a scheme which will educate and train a team of young “Irena Sendler Ambassadors” to lead special tours around the sites in Warsaw that tell the Irena story.