Ground-breaking Holocaust Education Tour in Northern Ireland
Dr Susanna Kokkonen, Director of Christian Friends of Yad Vashem (CFYV) VISITED Northern Ireland in March to do a series of talks and workshops on the subject of Holocaust education and its relevance to community relations in Northern Ireland.
Dr Kokkonen was invited to visit Northern Ireland by Brian Silvester, Irish Branch Director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ), and by Paul and Pamela Coulter of ICEJ in the Republic of Ireland.
Dr Kokkonen first traveled to the Northwest where she was hosted by Isobel Kuzma, the regional representative for Christian Friends of Yad Vashem.
During the five days that Dr Kokkonen spent in the northwest of Northern Ireland, events where held in Omagh, Derry/Londonderry, Coleraine and Belfast. In Omagh and Derry/Londonderry, she gave a number of presentations and workshops in local peace & reconciliation community groups and at local churches.
Meeting with a number of civic authorities, Dr Kokkonen explored how the important work of CFYV could be implemented in Northern Ireland. Having completed this branch of her trip, Dr Kokkonen then fulfilled a series of important engagements organized by Mr Silvester and Mr & Mrs Coulter, the Irish Branch of ICEJ, in both Belfast and Dublin.
Founded in October 2006, CFYV was established in cooperation with the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. In accordance with Yad Vashem’s general mission, CFYV strives to:
- promote the wide-ranging activities of Yad Vashem;
- act as a facilitator in bringing the universal lessons of the Shoah (Holocaust) to the Christian world;
- build bridges between Jews and Christians to fight Antisemitism;
- teach the history of Christian Antisemitism;
- educate about the legacy of the “Righteous among the Nations”.
With her gentle, straight-forward and articulate manner, Dr Kokkonen presented difficult content in a way that touched many hearts. She inspired positive action, understanding and reconciliation between people and the lessons of the past. The audiences came to learn and they left inspired and equipped.
We are just getting started in the UK as well as Northern Ireland. If you would like more information on Christian Friends of Yad Vashem’s work in the UK, including Northern Ireland, please contact Bella Kuzma using the details below.
Isobel (Bella) Kuzma
Representative for Northern Ireland & Republic of Ireland