Ilan Halimi Prize awarded to three French schools for combatting antisemitism

Students from three schools in different parts of France were awarded the Ilan Halimi prize for their various cultural projects with the goal to tackle racism and antisemitism.

The Ilan Halimi Prize is part of the 2018-2020 National Plan against Racism and Antisemitism, aiming to highlight creative efforts to push back on all forms of discrimination, awarded to people under the age of 25. Projects from a multitude of fields are selected for the award: cultural, artistic, sports of digital.

The 2022 prizes were awarded in Matignon in Paris on February 14 by French Prime Minister Jean Castex, who was joined by the Equality Minister, Elisabeth Moreno and the Education Minister, Jean-Michel Blanquer. Castex said that the Ilan Halimi Prize is a way to say that the Republic of France will never allow that kind of behaviour, thereby commemorating the violent death of Ilan Halimi, a 23-year-old Jewish man who was tortured and killed by a gang in 2006.

„We will never give up in the face of some people who want to rewrite history,” he said, alluding to the Vichy regime which collaborated with Nazi Germany to deport Jews during the Second World War.

The Grand prix 2022 was awarded to students who created a digital book dedicated to the history of their town and region in the context of the Second World War and the Holocaust, tracing the stories of Jewish families, hidden by locals, and others who were deported to death camps. The book contains testimonials from local people, archival material, graphics and illustrations designed by the students, who were working on this project for almost two years.

A second award went students who created a collective audio piece, containing the spoken commentary of 13 students from 12 countries to accompany eight artworks on display at the Museum for Art and History of Judaism, intended to assist visually impaired visitors. The project enabled students to discover more about Jewish culture and heritage.

The third prize was handed to a class that created a video and a book of poems on the theme of fraternity, showing a class thinking about everyday life and how important it is to stand up against discrimination.

Castex said that France would use its time as president of the European Union to step up the fight against antisemitism with a proposed document to fight online discrimination.


Original article and photo credit: rfi