A New Way of Looking at Holocaust Education

December 28, 2014

Source: JETS Israel


JETS Israel has created a class on the teaching the Holocaust. Entitled "Remembering and Rebuilding", the online course links the Holocaust with the establishment of the State of Israel. Students become familiar with aspects of both events as they examine the importance of remembering the Holocaust in order to create better, more meaningful lives in the present and build for the future. Every aspect of the course is designed to make the holocaust meaningful as the students develop a personal connection to the Holocaust era and to people who perished as well as to those who survived.

The class was piloted last year with the Bar-Bat Mitzva class of Temple Emanuel of Pascack Valley in New Jersey. This year, Temple Emanuel is again including the course as part of their Bnai Mitzva program. In addition, the Fairlawn Jewish Center and the JCC of Paramus are collaborating to offer the course in a simultaneous forum to their 7th graders.


The course is based on the belief that, by Bar/Bat Mitzva age, students are old enough to grasp the historical facts of the Holocaust as well as to understand some of the underlying concepts – the historical context, the actions of leaders and many “common” people and how the same issues that affected the world in the 1930s and 1940s continue to impact on Jews – both individually and communally – today.


Throughout the course the Israeli-based educators make extensive use of multi-media resources and online tools to guide the students towards a better understanding of the material.


The course is crafted as a progressive program in which each session builds on the previous classes. The students are involved in multiple activities in every class as they consider information – presented through discussions, videos and written sources – and then expand on the information by commenting, creating projects, and engaging in collaborative and interactive activities to reinforce what they have learned.


The first seven sessions of the course focus on the Holocaust itself. Subsequent sessions examine Jewish values and ethics and the Jewish view of responsibility, as these concepts apply to the Holocaust era and to today’s world. The last sessions revolve around the State of Israel and issues of concern to Jews today.


Read more on the JETS Israel blog.

Updated: Jan. 04, 2015