International Christian Leadership Seminar on Holocaust, anti-Semitism and Israel

A special program in cooperation with The Museum of the Bible, Washington DC; ICEJ USA and ICEJ Germany

Dates: November 26 – December 5, 2017
November 26 is the date of arrival. Participants are free to fly home on December 5. Your hotel stay is provided by Yad Vashem between November 26 (check-in) – December 5 (check-out), 2017.

Place: Yad Vashem, Jerusalem

Partner: The Museum of the Bible, Washington DC

The Course: The Holocaust is a defining event in human history, which generated a credibility crisis of major proportions in our most basic assumptions about the nature of mankind, of society, of the modern state, and of our responsibility as individuals to take a stand against unjust suffering of innocent people everywhere. These universal questions, and many others, touch upon the very foundations of civilization and even now, over sixty years since the end of World War II, we have not yet come to terms with the implications of this event. The Holocaust has therefore become a compelling challenge for concerned individuals all over the world.

Yad Vashem is best placed to help these committed individuals to meet this challenge in an open, honest, and professional environment. Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies is offering senior pastors and ministry leaders a unique educational experience. During a seminar in Israel the select group of about 30 participants will experience world-class lectures, moving Holocaust survivor testimonies and an introduction to Israel. In this special program one full day will be spent studying the Bible as well as Christian theology as background to modern anti-Semitism.

Application process: Applicants are invited to send in their application form.

Application deadline: September 10, 2017

Notification of acceptance: September 17, 2017

Participants: Participants are expected to be Christian leaders (pastors, ministry leaders), who will be using the knowledge gained during the seminar to connect their communities and ministries with Holocaust remembrance and education. Course participants are expected to attend all the sessions and to actively participate in the exercises and discussions. Following the course, it is anticipated that participants will host a Christian Friends of Yad Vashem event at their church or community. Note that this is not a seminar for educators.

Upon receiving the letter of acceptance the participants are expected to pay a non-refundable fee of $200 to confirm their participation.

Scholarship: The selected participants will receive a scholarship covering course materials, field trips, hotel and meals. The scholarship does not cover round-trip travel from the participants' country of origin (USA), travel to/from airports nor medical insurance.

Application form:


Mail application to the contact address: Dr. Susanna Kokkonen, Director, Christian Friends of Yad Vashem International Relations Division POB 3477 9103401 Jerusalem Israel Fax. +972 2 644 3429 E-mail:

The seminars consist of several components:

1. Academic lectures by leading scholars and researchers, enabling educators to expand their knowledge of the history of the Holocaust. Special emphasis is given to broadening the participants’ knowledge of Judaism and to the discussion about Jewish responses under Nazi rule. The program focuses on the implications of the Holocaust on the Christian world and on western society. Time will be devoted to a discussion and analysis of the shaping of Holocaust memory especially within the Christian context. Enhancing awareness to the impact of each society’s identity and self-understanding on its interpretation of the past will facilitate genuine dialogue and a mutual understanding of other society’s narratives.

2. Survivor testimonies: The seminars include meetings with Holocaust survivors and discussions about the use of testimonies in Holocaust teaching. These meetings lend an experiential dimension to the seminars, and contribute to enhance the educators’ commitment to teaching the Holocaust.

3. Israel and Israeli society: The participants also go on some tours of Jerusalem.

4. The program starts with a full day of Bible and theology related lectures before the program at Yad Vashem's International School for Holocaust Studies starts.

Seminars for Christian Leaders

This ten day seminar will be first and foremost, a learning experience that will require a tremendous amount of physical, intellectual, and emotional stamina. Throughout most of the seminar you will find yourself sitting in the classroom listening to the pre-eminent scholars in the various fields of Holocaust scholarship, research, and pedagogy.

In order to create the educational atmosphere that we believe is important; this seminar will require a tremendous amount of listening, patience, and humility. Participants come to Yad Vashem from all over the world. The international flavor of the seminars allows the Christian leaders to experience the diverse understanding and denominational backgrounds of their colleagues. This imbues the seminar with an international perspective on Holocaust education that could not be achieved in a seminar open only to one specific geographical or denominational group.

What are the educational objectives in our seminars?
The seminar is built upon three major pillars; academic, theological, and experiential.

A. The academic component will take you through the history and culture of the Jewish people in the interwar period, a people with diverse interests and roots – not a people born as victims. It will continue through the history of Antisemitism, the stages of the Final Solution, and the Jewish response to the Nazi onslaught. This element, although historically based, will include lectures on literature, theology, music, and art.

B. The theological component will provide the participants with some understanding of the role Christianity played in Medieval and Nazi Antisemitism as well as its different manifestations until today. The participants will be experiencing a locally flavored worship service as well as a meeting with a Christian leader living in Jerusalem.

C. The experiential component has the following elements:

During the course of this seminar, participants meet with survivors whose testimonies document and personalize this tragic historical event. These survivors and their stories of life during and after the war and their immigration to the State of Israel provide the Holocaust with a human face and heart and emphasize their Zionist spirit and determination to help build the newly founded Jewish State.

The second element is field trips that will connect participants not only with the recent history of the Jewish people but also with its ancient roots in the Land of Israel. These guided tours will present the Israeli-Jewish narrative of both the ancient and recent history of the country. Emphasis is put on key Christian holy sites and a Communion will be shared.

The seminar will also address the recent upsurge of Antisemitism and Holocaust denial throughout the world today including strategies for combating these phenomena.

We will continue to address the Arab – Israeli conflict as it unfolds, although this is not a major component and certainly not the focus of this seminar. This component will be presented by Israeli-Jewish scholars and will focus on the Israeli-Jewish narrative of this conflict.

We offer you a unique opportunity to increase your knowledge, experience and understand interfaith Jewish-Christian relations, and see the Israel that is home to the Jewish people, in an international environment designed to promote scholarship, dialogue, and pedagogy.