APF in Brussels talks on extending its educational program across Europe

On Tuesday, the Action and Protection Foundation took part in talks in Brussels regarding the only European project to address Jewry as it appears in the national educational curricula and to discuss how to assess topics related to Israel and guiding principles in this regard.

The meeting was attended on behalf of the Action and Protection Foundation (APF) by its Executive Director, Kálmán Szalai, the Director of the Hungarian educational project, Ferenc Olti, and the President of the European Jewish Association (EJA), rabbi Menahem Margolin. The meeting was held with the European Commissioner for Education, Tibor Navracsics, and the European Coordinator on combatting anti-Semitism, Katharina Schnurbein.

Even as the fight against anti-Semitism becomes an increasingly urgent issue for Europe, the Action and Protection League of Europe (APLE) seeks, with the support of the Hungarian government, to extend the good practices of APF in Hungary across Europe, through the assessment of the pertaining parts of national educational systems and curricula, including recommendations for their reform, undertaking by these means to fight covert negative, hate-filled, anti-Jewish attitudes among young people, often formed on the basis of prejudices or false facts.

To achieve this, both APF and EJA will cooperate closely with the European Commission to introduce educational models, similar to those used in Hungary, in a number of other European countries as well.

The project aims to hinder and, if possible, completely stop the growth of anti-Jewish attitudes in the most crucial sphere for combatting anti-Semitism, and through the means offered by the national public education system, with the active involvement of local Jewish communities. To achieve this, all primary and secondary school students in every EU country must be ensured positive curricula based on the facts about the Jewish religion, culture, and history, organically bound up with the majority of European society, and discussing the positive role of the Jewish minority in the social well-being of the nations, as well as the subjects of ancient and modern Israel.

The seven-year project with the goals that the organisations set out to achieve in Hungary has concluded successfully, allowing over one million school students to learn about subjects related to Jewish religion, culture, community, and Israel.

The Commissioner for Education, Tibor Navracsics, assured the APF and EJA delegates of his support by holding expert meetings in the coming weeks with the working groups operating in the European Parliament and Commission framework.