Manfred Brinkmann
Manfred Brinkmann

Germany’s Order of Merit awarded to Israeli teacher unionist Avraham Rocheli

published 27 May 2021 updated 31 May 2021

On May 26th, the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany was presented to Dr Avraham Rocheli, one of the leading figures of the long-standing partnership between Germany’s GEW and the Israel Teachers Union, both Education International member organisations. GEW and the German Federation of Trade Unions nominated the Israeli teacher for this prestigious award.

Keeping the lessons alive: An Israeli-German partnership on Holocaust education

For nearly 30 years Avraham Rocheli has led the Israeli delegation at the joint seminars organised by GEW and the Israel Teachers Union. The seminars take place every two years and give German and Israeli teachers the opportunity to discuss the best ways to teach the lessons of the Holocaust to new generations.

The now 90-year-old teacher still impresses young colleagues with his life's path, which reflects the history of the state of Israel. In 1948, as a 17-year-old, he sought to defend the newly founded State of Israel against the military attack of Arab states. During his career, he was involved in the socialist kibbutz movement and the Labour Party. In his union, he led teacher training programmes and international partnerships.

The line of dialogue and collaboration that the joint Israeli-German seminars have forged hold a special place in his heart.

The global education community celebrates a remarkable teacher and colleague

GEW Chairperson Marlis Tepe congratulated Avraham Rocheli in a letter that was read out at the award ceremony:

"GEW is delighted that the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany has been awarded to Avraham Rocheli. We congratulate him and salute his achievements in promoting understanding between Israeli and German educators. We will continue to work together to share the history of the Holocaust with our students."

Education International General Secretary David Edwards also congratulated Dr Rocheli, stating:

“Dr Avraham Rocheli has inspired thousands of students and colleagues along his life and career. His work in the classroom, in his union and in the global education community is simply outstanding and a great example to us all. We are delighted to see his achievements recognised through this prestigious award and offer our heartfelt thanks for his immeasurable contribution to education in Israel, Germany and all around the world.”