In an uncertain world, education can bind people together

Joanna Millan and students

The position and security of the Jewish people in the world today remains as uncertain and vulnerable as it has ever done in the modern era. Antisemitism is on the rise across the world, especially in Europe, the US and the Middle East.

At the same time, we’re witnessing the 21st century world tilt towards Asia – and East Asia in particular. China’s current troubles notwithstanding, the country is still predicted to rise to the global economic number 1 spot within the next few years.

In recognition of these power shifts eastwards, the International Centre for Jewish Studies was founded in 2015 to build strong, positive and sustainable relationships between the nations of East Asia and the Jewish people.

Educational programmes are a proven and effective way of building and strengthening such relationships. Experience has shown that when academics, teachers, students, government officials and others in China and wider East Asia have been exposed to Jewish and Holocaust history, there has been a direct and positive impact on their sentiment towards Jewish people.

Experience has also demonstrated that there is a significant benefit to the recipients of such education. When people learn how to relate their own national history and traumas to those of the Jewish nation, they discover new insights and develop their understanding of how best to identify and counter racial and religious prejudice – wherever they find it.