- Step-by-step procedures
- Estimated completion time
- Resources labeled by icons direct teachers to the piece of content named in the procedures
- Print-ready pages as indicated by are available as PDFs for download
In honor of Universal Pictures’ rerelease of Schindler’s List, Echoes & Reflections has created a short, classroom-ready Companion Resource, that will help educators to provide important historical background and context to the film, as well as explore powerful true stories of rescue, survival, and resilience with their students.
Additionally, the following videos, recorded at Yad Vashem, feature Schindler survivors who speak of the impact Oskar Schindler had on their lives.
EVA LAVI TESTIMONY
NAHUM & GENIA MANOR
The posters (each 24’x 36’), feature the words and experiences of Holocaust survivor and memoirist Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor Kurt Messerschmidt, and Anne Frank rescuer, Miep Gies. Each promotes meaningful conversation and reflection in the classroom and inspires students with powerful human stories of the Holocaust that can continue to guide and inform their steps forward.
To support you in these efforts, we have also compiled several suggested classroom activities from teachers in our network that may be of use and interest.
Order your set today at no cost!
Please note: In order to reach the maximum number of teachers with this limited opportunity, we are only able to provide one poster set per teacher. Additionally, we are only able to send poster sets to US addresses.
USC Shoah Foundation’s first podcast, We Share The Same Sky, seeks to brings the past into present through a granddaughter’s decade-long journey to retrace her grandmother’s story of survival. We Share The Same Sky tells the two stories of these women—the grandmother, Hana, a refugee who remained one step ahead of the Nazis at every turn, and the granddaughter, Rachael, on a search to retrace her grandmother’s history.
In order to enhance its classroom use, USC Shoah Foundation and Echoes & Reflections have created a Companion Educational Resource to support teachers as they introduce the podcast to their students. This document provides essential questions for students, as well as additional resources and content to help build context and framing for students’ understanding of the historical events addressed in the podcast.
Access to the podcast, as well as additional supporting materials—including IWitness student activities, academic standards alignment, and general strategies for teaching with podcasts—can all be found at the We Share The Same Sky page in IWitness.
Note: Due to the subject nature, the podcast is appropriate for older students, grades 10-12. As always, teachers should review the content fully in advance to determine its appropriateness for their student population.
- SAMANTHA POWER, ACADEMIC, AUTHOR, AND DIPLOMAT
Below is information to keep in mind when using this lesson. This material is intended to help teachers consider the complexities of teaching contemporary antisemitism and to deliver accurate and sensitive instruction.
The lessons in this unit increase students’ awareness that antisemitism did not end after the Holocaust and provide them with opportunities to learn about the persistence of antisemitism in its contemporary forms. Students investigate the ways in which old ideas about Jews and Judaism have given rise to new expressions of antisemitism and consider the interconnectedness of all forms of oppression. In addition, students are introduced to individuals who refuse to be bystanders to bigotry as they explore the responsibility of all members of society to respond to and prevent antisemitism and all forms of hate.
- What is antisemitism and how has this form of hatred endured into the contemporary era?
- How has antisemitism morphed in the contemporary era?
- What can we do to make a difference in the face of antisemitism and other forms of hate?
1. Learn and Confirm Chart–Similar to a KWL chart, a tool to help students track ongoing learning throughout the unit
2. Evidence Based Writing Rubric–Guidelines than can be adapted and used for assessing student writing assignments
3. Additional Resources–Further reading and sources of information for educators
ESTIMATED COMPLETION TIME
The Enduring Problem of Antisemitism
In this lesson, learners are provided an opportunity to understand that antisemitism did not end after the Holocaust. Students define and identify examples of antisemitism using their own experiences as well as official sources. Through readings, videos, and an analysis of primary source material, they identify the connecting themes of antisemitism and discover the ways in which age-old, pernicious beliefs about Jews have persisted into the modern era and morphed into contemporary expressions of anti-Jewish hatred.
|1||Students turn and talk to a partner about what the term antisemitism means to them. The handout, Antisemitism, is distributed or displayed and students discuss together, noting similarities to or differences from their personal definitions.|
Antisemitism View More »
|2||The following quote from scholar and Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel, is posted: “Once I thought that antisemitism had ended; today it is clear to me that it will probably never end.” Students react to the quote. They share examples of antisemitism that they are aware of in their own communities or on a national or international level. If students have ever encountered words or actions that they would describe as antisemitic, they explain what happened and how they and/or others responded.|
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|3||Students learn that they will investigate the ways in which antisemitism manifests in the world today. Individually or in pairs, they read the Introduction to Contemporary Antisemitism handout, highlighting key ideas and noting any questions that come up for them. When they are done, the class gathers to discuss any questions or concepts that need clarification.|
Introduction to Contemporary Antisemitism View More »
|4||Students view the short video, Antisemitism after the Holocaust, in which Professor Alvin Rosenfeld of Indiana University discusses the persistence of antisemitism. They also review the biographies and watch the testimonies of [L]Erica Van Adelsberg[/L] and [L]Anneliese Nossbaum[/L]. After viewing the videos, students discuss the following questions:|
|5||Students view the brief video, The Nature of Antisemitism, in which Professor Peter Hayes of Northwestern University discusses whether antisemitism has unique characteristics that distinguish it from other prejudices. They then discuss the following:|
|6||The handout, The Through Lines of Antisemitism, is distributed and students review the directions. In small groups, they prepare for the exercise by replicating the chart from the handout on large sheets of chart paper. They then proceed as follows:|
The Through Lines of Antisemitism View More »
Antisemitism Over Time View More »
Antisemitic Words and Images View More »
- Part 1 – Historical Survey: Small groups are assigned at least one of the five sources in the handout, Antisemitism Over Time, which tracks some of the ways antisemitism has manifested over the past century. Groups review the assigned source(s) and add notes to their chart.
- Part 2 – Contemporary Examples: Small groups are assigned at least one statement and one visual from the Antisemitic Words and Images handout, which focuses on modern-day examples of antisemitism. As students review, they add notes to their chart, paying attention to the ways in which the contemporary manifestations are similar to and distinct from the historical case studies.
|7||When groups have finished, they post their charts so that they are visible to the whole class. Volunteers share back or highlight significant facts or ideas from the sources. The following questions are discussed:|
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|8||Students next prepare to investigate the scope and scale of antisemitism in the modern world. They begin by defining these key terms (scope is the extent or range of something; scale is the size of something).|
|9||Students learn that they will consult one to two sources and create a graph or graphic representation depicting one facet of antisemitism in the United States or globally, such as:|
|10||The handout, The Scope and Scale of Antisemitism, is distributed and students divide into small groups. Each group is assigned a specific source from the handout to review (or they select their own). Students use laptops or tablets to view sources.|
The Scope and Scale of Antisemitism View More »
|11||When students have completed their graphs or graphic representations, they post their work around the room. They take a silent gallery walk, reflecting on the questions below as they observe one another’s work. Following the gallery walk, they discuss these questions as a class.|
|12||As a summative assessment for this lesson, students develop a one-minute news segment that addresses the essential question, focusing particularly on the ways in which antisemitism has taken shape in the modern era. Students use relevant evidence from the sources in this lesson and communicate specific themes and contexts related to contemporary antisemitism. They give the segment a title that reflects their understanding of the ideas explored in this lesson. Students deliver the segments to the class as time allows.|
A Thing of the Past? Antisemitism Past and Present
ESTIMATED COMPLETION TIME
The New Antisemitism
In this lesson, learners deepen their understanding about the features of contemporary antisemitism and the ways in which they exploit age-old hatred of Jews. Students are introduced to and examine some of the different forces that drive antisemitism in today’s world, including white nationalism, Holocaust denial and distortion, and delegitimization of Israel.
|1||The Expressions of Antisemitism handout is projected and reviewed as a class. Students learn that in this lesson they will focus on contemporary or “New expressions of antisemitism,” which have both similarities and differences to earlier periods in history.|
Expressions of Antisemitism View More »
|2||Students share any prior knowledge they may have about the Tree of Life Synagogue attack that took place in Pittsburgh in 2018. The following background is shared as needed:|
On the morning of October 27, 2018 (a Saturday, the Jewish holy day) Robert Bowers entered the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA yelling “All Jews must die!” He opened fire on the congregants, killing eleven and wounding six others. Bowers told a law enforcement officer that Jews “were committing genocide against his people.” Authorities later found virulent antisemitic, xenophobic, and anti-immigrant posts on Bowers’ social media profiles. The last of his posts reflecting his belief that Jews are enabling undocumented immigrants to enter the U.S.–stated that “[Jewish organizations] like to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.” The Tree of Life shooting is the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in U.S. history.
|3||The Tree of Life Synagogue Attack Word Cloud handout is projected or distributed. The word cloud reflects some of the language the assailant posted online in the lead-up to the attack. In pairs or small groups, students analyze the language for clues about what might have fueled his irrational hatred and they identify traditional antisemitic themes. As a class, students discuss their findings. The following themes are considered:|
Tree of Life Synagogue Attack Word Cloud View More »
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- The U.S. is being attacked and “invaded”; overrun by “foreign” and dangerous people (Jews, Israel, Muslims, migrants, refugees, etc.)
- Jews, Jewish organizations, and Israel are evil and engineering an “invasion” for self-serving purposes.
- White people in the U.S. are being “replaced” and their “way of life” threatened; they must unite and fight for their country.
- The Holocaust was justified and a modern-day genocide against Jews and other “enemies” (refugees, Muslims, non-White people, etc.) is warranted.
To conclude this activity, students discuss some or all of the following questions:
|4||The handout, White Nationalism, is projected or distributed and reviewed as a class. Students learn that an increase in white nationalism–such as that exhibited by Bowers as well as attackers involved in the 2017 Charlottesville rally and 2019 Poway Synagogue shooting in CA–is one trend that both fuels contemporary antisemitism and demonstrates its most deadly consequence. Students discuss the following questions:|
White Nationalism View More »
|5||Students define the words denial (the action of declaring something to be untrue) and distortion (the action of giving a misleading account or impression). The handout, Holocaust Denial and Distortion, is projected or distributed and reviewed as a class. Students learn that denial and distortion of the Holocaust and of Jewish victimhood are often characteristic features of contemporary antisemitism.|
Holocaust Denial and Distortion View More »
|6||Students view the video, Holocaust Denial, Explained, from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. They review the biographical information and testimonies of [L]Felix Sparks[/L], [L]Marta Wise[/L], and [L]Naomi Adler[/L] . Students note key words and phrases that stand out to them, and thoughts and questions that come up as they listen. They discuss some of the following questions:|
|7||Students create a “found poem” using the notes they took in response to the videos. To accomplish this, they choose at least ten key words and phrases from their notes that most relate to the supporting question. They write each word or phrase on a separate slip of paper and arrange the slips into a poem that answers the supporting question and communicates their point of view. When students finish, they silently exchange their poems with peers in groups of three and attach written comments to one another’s work using sticky notes.|
|8||Referring again to the Expressions of Antisemitism handout, students learn that another aspect of “new antisemitism” is centered on opposition to the State of Israel, sometimes its policies and sometimes its right to exist at all. Students share what they know about Israel and what have been their sources of information.|
|9||Students review the handout, Antisemitism and the Three Ds, and the information in the note is used to provide context as needed.|
Antisemitism and the Three Ds View More »
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OPTIONAL: View the brief Yad Vashem video, Anti-Zionism, which features three professors discussing the origins of anti-Zionism, how it changed following the Holocaust, and how it relates to contemporary antisemitism.
|10||The handout, Case Studies of Antisemitism, is distributed. Students divide into small groups and each group is assigned one of the case studies to review. (Note: The BDS Movement overview document can be used as background for educators or as a student handout, if appropriate.)|
Case Studies of Antisemitism View More »
|11||Groups discuss how antisemitism was at play in their scenario and post a written response on the case study using sticky notes. The response answers the supporting question and includes evidence from the case studies to support conclusions. After groups have constructed their responses, they report back to the class on their conclusions as time allows.|
|12||As a summative assessment for the overall lesson, students create a “3 x 3 journal” addressing the compelling question, “How has antisemitism morphed in the contemporary era?” The journal is a grid that includes three features of contemporary antisemitism that they have discovered on one axis, and three ideas that they have taken away about each feature along the other axis. Students should include at least one piece of relevant evidence from the featured sources in each row of the grid.|
ESTIMATED COMPLETION TIME
Action and Agency-Standing Against Antisemitism and Hate
In this lesson students learn practical ways that they can take action in response to antisemitism and bias in their communities. They consider the skills and qualities needed to act effectively by reflecting on case studies and testimonies. They then identify a range of actions they might take in response to real-life scenarios of antisemitism and reflect on the interconnectedness of all forms of oppression.
|1||The lesson begins with students reflecting on quotes from Miep Gies about courage and our responsibility to take action against prejudice and hate. Background information from the Miep Gies Quotes handout is shared with the class and some or all of the quotes from the handout are displayed around the room. Students walk around the room, reviewing the quotes and choosing one to stand by that resonates for them. In small groups, they discuss some of the following questions.|
Miep Gies Quotes View More »
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|2||Students reflect on Miep Gies’ sentiment that even an ordinary person can “turn on a small light in a dark room.” They learn that, during this lesson, they will investigate ways that ordinary people (them!) can stand up against prejudice and intolerance in their communities.|
|3||Students identify people they know in their own lives or in public life or history who have stood against bias or hate. They turn and talk to a partner about what they think enabled these people to help others. The handout, Profiles of Young Activists, is distributed, which features stories of ordinary young people who have stood up against prejudice. In small groups, students are assigned to read at least one of the profiles and create a list of attributes that enabled that person to take action against hate.|
Profiles of Young Activists View More »
After creating their lists, each group decides on three qualities they think are most important. They write those qualities “graffiti style” on large sheets of chart paper posted at the front of the room. The class discusses why they prioritized these qualities and what they think it might take for them to manifest these characteristics in situations involving bias in their own lives.
|4||Students next practice applying some of the behaviors they have thought about to real-life scenarios. The handout, Action Planning, is distributed and the directions are reviewed together. In small groups students are assigned a scenario from the Taking Action: Scenarios for Discussion handout (or they select one that feels relevant to them). Students discuss the scenario using the questions provided and then complete the action planning grid in response to the scenario.|
|5||When students have completed the task, they create new groups using the jig-saw method, so that each new group contains students who have worked on different scenarios. In their new groups, students report back on the highlights of their initial discussions and share the action plans they have devised.|
|6||The following quotes are posted:|
“Rising antisemitism is rarely the lone or the last expression of intolerance in a society.”
—FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS, SAMANTHA POWER
“It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality.”
—DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
Students react to the quotes and consider how antisemitism and other forms of prejudice affect all people, regardless of their identities or membership in targeted groups. They turn and talk with a partner about this question.
|7||Students learn that they will read about the ideas of some notable people on “the interconnectedness of oppressions” – the notion that prejudice of any kind affects all people. They prepare to write a response to one text by reviewing the following options:|
|8||The handout, The Interconnectedness of Oppressions, is distributed and students are assigned one or more of the texts to read. They write a response paragraph using one of the above options and then share aloud and discuss in small groups.|
The Interconnectedness of Oppressions View More »
|9||Students review the biographies and view the testimonies of [L]Suzanne Cohn[/L], [L]Herschel Gluck[/L], and [L]Henry Oertelt[/L], which emphasize the importance of creating understanding across our human differences and standing against all forms of prejudice. They discuss some of the following questions:|
Group Action Project
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|10||As a summative assessment for this lesson, students design a bookmark, bumper, sticker, or t-shirt that speaks to the essential question, “What can we do to make a difference in the face of antisemitism and other forms of hate?” Students draw on relevant information and ideas from the featured sources to devise a main slogan for their product (that serves as a claim) and 3-5 brief accompanying phrases that reflect strategies for making a difference (and that serve as evidence). Students create their designs individually or in small groups. As an optional follow-up, they can print and distribute their designs to others.|
Optional Extension: Students complete a Group Action Project to apply the knowledge and skills they have gained throughout the unit by forming a response to antisemitism or another type of bias in their community. The Group Action Project document offers suggestions and resources for planning actions, documenting and sharing project results, and reflecting on and evaluating student work. Kath Murdoch’s “inquiry cycle” is offered as a guide to help students pace and organize their work.
The ideas below are offered as ways to extend the lessons in this unit and make connections to related historical events, current issues, and students’ own experiences. These topics can be integrated directly into Echoes & Reflections lessons, used as stand-alone teaching ideas, or investigated by students engaged in project-based learning.
|1||Search IWitness for testimonies from individuals who have stood up to antisemitism and other forms of bigotry in their communities. Reflect on the actions these people have taken, their motivations, and what we can learn from those who have chosen to take action.|
|2||Reflect on the ways that Jewish people have been scapegoated historically and in current times. Scapegoating in this context means blaming Jews individually or collectively for something, based on stereotypes or prejudices, when in reality Jews are not responsible. Record examples of scapegoating that you have learned about in this or other units of study and choose one example to research further. Make comparisons to other groups that are scapegoated today, identify some of the factors that lead to scapegoating behavior, and discuss how we can respond when we encounter scapegoating in our communities.|
|3||In the aftermath of the Holocaust, many countries, especially in Europe, passed laws prohibiting hate speech against groups based on religion, race, and other categories. In France, for example, the law allows for the prosecution of “public insults” based on religion, race, ethnicity, or national origin. The U.S. has more permissive laws when it comes to hate speech. Research how the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects free speech and what limits it puts on hate speech. Compare U.S. norms with those of another country that has stronger protections. Discuss whether and how U.S. law should be changed to protect its citizens against hate speech.|
|4||In recent years there has been a rise in antisemitic hate online and via social media. For instance, in its Antisemitic Incidents Report 2019, The UK-based Jewish Charity, Community Security Trust, reports that antisemitic incidents online (most taking place on social media) made up 39 per cent of all incidents and rose 82 per cent from the previous year. Research this trend, considering what the proper balance should be between constitutionally protected free speech and limits on hate speech. Look into the policies of two social media companies regarding the regulation of hate speech and decide if these policies are strong enough to curtail hate and keep users safe.|
|5||In his testimony Henry Oertelt says, “I am the prime example of what can happen to people that are suffering under prejudicial circumstances and biases…and we have to learn to speak up when we see prejudice and hatred.” Write an essay exploring the following questions: Why do you think more people don’t speak up when they witness these types of behaviors? How have the individuals you have been introduced to in this unit, including Henry, helped you think about your role in your own community?|
|6||While much media attention is often given to antisemitic and other hateful acts, the efforts of individuals and communities to combat such acts are often less publicized. Research examples of communities and individuals who have taken a stand against hateful acts and present in a multimedia presentation.|