During World War II he was an internee in Japanese Camps. After liberation he went to school and university in the Netherlands. He is presently professor of pedagogy (theory of teaching) and has published on topics regarding Jewish culture and identity, multicultural education and "Education after Auschwitz". He has been the first European professor for "Holocaust Education" since 1990.
He has developed a model known as the ‘the five-slice pie chart’ to illustrate the different ways of being Jewish. He says there are five aspects that in some way affect the life of every Jew. These are religion and tradition, the tie with Israel and Zionism, war persecution and survival, personal history and the exchange between Jewish and Dutch cultures. Just how heavily these different aspects weigh on each person individually depends on the place and time in which one lives. During the course of a person’s life the various aspects may alter in importance.