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.
This trend is occurring at the same time that the world in the 21st century is tilting towards Asia – and East Asia in particular. China and Japan currently rank as the globe’s number 2 and number 3 largest economies respectively, and – current market conditions notwithstanding – China is still predicted to rise to number 1 within the next few years.
In recognition of these power shifts eastwards, the International Centre for Jewish Studies is focused on the building of strong, positive and sustainable relationships between the nations of East Asia and the Jewish people, so as to strengthen the security of Jewish people throughout the world.
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 they 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.
- Provides lectures, seminars, teaching programmes and conferences to teachers and other interested students
- Organises tours to places of Jewish cultural and historical interest for teachers and others
- Supports experts in the field with the resources necessary to research, lecture, provide tours and develop teaching programmes.
The ICJS works to benefit Jewish communities in the UK and around the world, and any other people or group who have been – or are in danger of being – subject to racial or religious prejudice.
The ICJS chooses projects and programmes to support, based upon the following criteria:
- They must cover the thematic areas of Jewish education, history and culture, and/or Holocaust and genocide education
- They will usually be addressed to audiences outside the UK, who are unfamiliar with these themes – especially those in China and other parts of East Asia
- They will usually address the connection between hatred of the Jews and its consequences (including genocide); and hatred of groups in the specific region where the programme is taking place, and the consequences of such hatred
- In the interests of efficient dissemination of materials and educational programmes, priority will be given to ‘teach the teacher’ programmes, which will guide academics and other teachers as to how they in turn can be equipped to teach these subjects to their students.
The ICJS is not a grant-making body. It may however from time to time make exceptional grants to individuals or groups who are in a position to provide programmes that fulfil the programme criteria outlined above.
The ICJS is registered in the UK as a charity – charity number 1168221.