Tag Archives: Education

And So It Begins…

Yad Vashem Intro

The beginning of a journey

This evening I am sitting in a Holiday Inn near Luton airport in anticipation of the next few days being a mixture of education, enlightenment and another step on my journey of faith, as I prepare to take part in a ten day seminar at Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem.

Yad Vashem exists as the ultimate source for Holocaust education, documentation and research, and as the Jewish people’s living memorial to the Holocaust, it safeguards its memory of the past and imparts its meaning for the future. As Christian Church leaders we are there to gain in-depth learning in the hope that we will take this learning home to our churches and communities.

Holocaust - Yad Vashem

 

‘And to them will I give
in my house and within my walls
a memorial and a name (Yad Vashem)
… that shall not be cut off.’
(Isaiah 56:5)

 

I, personally, have always been keen on studying the cause and effect that the Holocaust has had on history, particularly in relation to interfaith matters and I believe that ongoing dialogue between faiths is vital,  because without it there can surely be no understanding. Indeed, should not every Christian engage with the Holocaust in order to gain greater understanding of this complex period in history and the development of anti-Judaism in Christianity, and to consider how to stand up against prejudice in the world today?

So travel with me as I begin this journey, share in some of the sights and insights from the Holy Land as I encounter them, and no doubt weep with me as I face the past and the part that the Christian church and people played on that stage; and hopefully the part we can play in the future.

Shalom

Christian Jewish Relationships

Coming together as Christians and Jews

 

I am very grateful that this trip is being made possible through the generosity of the Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ), the Council on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and the organisation of Rob Thompson, Programme Manager for CCJ

CCJ Logo

 

A Place to Study!

Cuddesdon Library

Cuddesdon Library

‘But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.’ 2Timothy 3:14-17

I LOVE LIBRARIES!… Shh….. Sorry, I think I said that a bit loud! I’ve mentioned before about how much I love books – so a room (or rooms) that are stacked from floor to ceiling with them is equally as exciting. There’s that unique smell of printed paper and leather; the burnished gold lettering on some of the oldest books and the fact that the books on the top shelves, whose titles you can’t quite make out, could be reached by climbing up the librarian’s special step ladder!

A cosy study corner

A cosy study corner

Added to all that is the fact that I get to set up my own little workspace right there in the room itself – I have officially died and gone to bibliotheque heaven!

Knowing that I simply have to walk over and pick the book I need off of the shelf makes studying so much easier – it’s all there at my fingertips, although to be honest it wasn’t that easy the first time……I went in, clutching my list of suggested books and tried to find out where they might be.  I was quite familiar with the Dewey system that most libraries use, but then this system covers vast ranges of topics.

Here, it is more specialised – broken down into various religious and theological categories. Each of these categories is labelled A-Z and then further broken down into even more specific grouping before being alphabetised by author. No wonder I was confused. Added to that is the fact that Cuddesdon library is also not just in one room, or indeed several rooms, but is also on various levels – involving walking along corridors and climbing different flights of stairs!

Cuddesdon library skylight

Cuddesdon library skylight

But when you got this as one of the skylights it doesn’t seem such a problem!

Thank goodness for the librarian whose kindness and patience got me started and pointed in the right direction, because no doubt in the future this will become a haven into which I can tuck myself away as essay deadlines loom.

What I am very much aware of is just how lucky I am to be in this situation and I certainly don’t want to take it for granted. There are many millions of children and adults around the world who not only don’t have access to libraries, but who don’t even have the facilities or the option to an education.

As Malala Yousafzai pointed out in her speech to the United Nations, books and pens are the most powerful weapons we can equip people with, they are the basic tools of education that can begin to eradicate poverty and provide opportunities for better job prospects and life goals.

Perhaps I will do well to remember that, especially when I’m feeling a little stressed and anxious about how I’m doing, and instead look to the fact that part of what my training will be about doing whatever is in my power to seek relative fairness and social justice for those in need. Therefore, when I stop for a moment and glance out of the window it will be a good reminder not to be complacent, because there’s a whole other world out there beyond the tranquil fields, hungry for knowledge and education as well

Tranquil views from Cuddesdon library

Tranquil views from Cuddesdon library