The Week of Action Against Racism and Anti-Semitism, initiated by the Ministry of National Education, took place from March 18th to March 26th this year. OSE continued its commitment towards educating future citizens through various activities for the youth, involving art, Jewish history and traditions.
1. Tradition and high-holidays to enhance the value of fraternity
The story of Purim celebrates resistance against an attempt to destroy the Jewish people. It conveys in itself a strong message against Anti-Semitism. In addition, this joyful and cheerful feast is celebrated in the many homes of OSE, with masks and magnificent costumes, but also with music:
– At the Elie-Wiesel Home in Taverny, in partnership with the Lev Layeled association, Purim was celebreated with a very special guest: the famous French singer Renaud, who impressed all the guests with his humility and his openness to one and all;
– At the Eliane-Assa Home in Draveil, Purim was a musical party on Klezmer tunes and other traditional music, played by the young musicians of the conservatory thanks to the “Live Music Now” Foundation, with the help of Lev Layeled and J’OSE volonteers;
– Magic was the key word for the Purim celebration in the homes of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Foyer Ensemble), Laversine (House Shatta-and-Bouli-Simon), Luzarches (Maison des Champs).
2. History and memory to educate young citizens
The youngsters of the Fanny-Loinger socio-educational center in Créteil just ouside Paris visited the Memorial-site at Camp des Milles in Southern France, the only French camp for internment and deportation still intact and recently made accessible to the public. Strongly committed to educating future citizens, the Memorial brings visitors to better understand the mechanisms leading to totalitarian regimes and reinforces the vigilance and the responsibility of each visitor against racism, anti-Semitism and all forms of extremism.
This group of teenagers had been taking part all-year-round in a workshop aiming at strengthening their critical thinking capacities as members of a social group. The therapist in charge of the socio-educational program sums up their experiences: “it is by being enlightened by knowledge of the past that each person will be able to avoid, at his or her own level, to be driven into the routine of daily life and into the extraordinary of a mass crime. Because doing nothing is letting it happen.”
3. Art and culture for more tolerance
A visit to the magnificent art exhibition “21 rue La Boétie” at the Maillol museum in Paris, was a rich experience of teachings and emotions for a group children at-risk from several OSE homes and day centers. This exhibition revives, through its collection of modern art, the history of art collector Paul Rosenberg. Combining art history, social and political history, the exhibition highlights a crucial moment of the 20th Century, of which Paul Rosenberg was an emblematic witness, both as an actor and as a victim. It was altogether a great lesson of tolerance for these young people coming from difficult backgrounds.
OSE is strongly committed to continuing its educational programs against racism and anti-Semitism.