Education Minister Gideon Saar and his Italian counterpart, Mariastella Gelmini, signed cooperation agreements Monday for training Italian teachers in Holocaust education, and for bilateral youth exchanges. The agreements were signed in the course of today's joint Israeli-Italian government meeting in Rome.
The agreement on training Italian teachers in Holocaust education is the first of its kind. The Italian Education Ministry will, on an annual basis, select teachers to attend special training at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. These teachers will then teach the subject in Italian secondary schools. Previous training in teaching the Holocaust has been carried out in non-governmental frameworks.
Minister Saar said that, "Enhancing Holocaust studies around the world, especially in Europe, constitutes a bulwark against forgetting and denying the Holocaust.
According to the second agreement, a joint steering committee will be established to work on advancing bilateral youth exchanges. Education Minister Saar said that, "It is important to strengthen the deep links between Italy and Israel by boosting the brave friendship between our peoples. Friendly meetings between youth will help guarantee future relations."
Another agreement signed Monday between Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and his Italian counterpart, Franco Frattini, also provides for the advancement of bilateral cooperation in the fields of education, research and higher education.