10 Days at Yad Vashem

Blog

Carla Albala Habif is a History and Jewish History teacher in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Besides the regular classes, Carla also gives a special course about the Holocaust for teenagers. She is also a volunteer at Hillel Rio in the projects Yad Vaed (about the Holocaust) and "Israelidades" (where young people can have classes and discuss about Israel and its policies).

Last January, ROI provided me with another great opportunity. I was accepted to take a course for Latin American educators at Yad Vashem. With the Micro Grant, I could make it. The course lasted 10 days, in which we were provided with classes from the most amazing teachers, with incredible material.

I have been teaching a class about the Holocaust for young teenagers for the last two years. It is a huge challenge to know how to teach such a subject for young people and to keep speaking about the same thing for 10 months. Thanks to this course, now I have many educational instruments to do all that. I have been having amazing classes with my students ever since. In Jerusalem this year, I found out about materials I did not know existed (even in Portuguese), and didactics to talk about the Shoa. It was an intensive 10 days of study and hard work.

Not only did I meet amazing teachers, become acquainted with wonderful material and gain a lot of experience to bring back to the school I work at and to Hillel Rio, but most importantly, I met great people. Teachers and educators from all over Latin America, including from other cities in Brazil. Now, they are important connections. Above all, they are dear friends.

When I was at the ROI Summit in Jerusalem in 2011, Lynn told us that the only way to understand what being a part of ROI meant was by being a part of ROI. It took me a while to get it. There I was, a simple teacher and volunteer, side by side with coordinators, directors and more. I did not know what I was doing there. Now, three years later, I am connected to the whole world. I have friends all over. I have connections around the entire globe. And—there's no need to say it—I know a lot more. I brought this knowledge back to my community in Rio de Janeiro and I hope I also have helped other ROIes. So, thank you Yad Vashem for having me. And thank you ROI for giving me the opportunity to be there, at this wonderful course.