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anti-semitism

This Swedish City Is Combating Anti-Semitism By Launching School Program

Malmo, Sweden – July 2, 2014: People stroll the big square in front of the old city hall in Malmo on a sunny summer day. The square in Sweden’s third largest city dates back to the 16th century and is a popular tourist attraction.

Malmo, a city in Sweden, is officially taking a stand against anti-Semitism. In collaboration with the local Jewish community, the city is launching an educational program in the city’s schools as a way to educate kids about Jewish culture and history.

It’s not a secret that Malmo has a pretty bad reputation in the country for its anti-Semitism. For instance, the city has a fairly big Muslim and immigrant community that has often been publicly anti-Israel. According to Haaretz, many Jews in Malmo have reported being threatened and intimidated.

The new program is a monumental progression, especially as it is funded by the Swedish government agency for youth, which illustrates the country as a whole acknowledges the fact that anti-Semitism is a problem. The program includes using resources such as videos, discussion materials, and exercises for students.

As of now, about 300 local teachers and 7,000 students are expected to take part in the program–the teacher training will start in October. One of the videos being used shows a Jewish student discussing how he is proud to be Jewish, but feels uncomfortable wearing Jewish symbols, such as a Star of David or a kippah because of the prejudice.

As someone who loves learning (and teaching), I can personally say that this step is an exciting time not just for Malmo, but for the world. It sets a precedence–and shows all communities that racism, bias, and prejudice of any kind isn’t something to be tolerated.


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