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Resource Overview

Pedagogy for Instruction

Lesson Plans

Timeline of the Holocaust

Audio Glossary


Schindler's List

Classroom Poster Series

We Share The Same Sky Companion Resource

TEACH

LESSON PLAN
EDUCATOR RESOURCE: LESSON PLANS
Our Lesson Plans provide a unique experience for educators to teach about the Holocaust effectively and interactively. Lessons are organized by topics that represent major themes associated with the Holocaust in an order that is roughly chronological; the modular design of the Lessons allows for adaption and customization to specific grade levels and subject areas. The integration of rich content in each Lesson helps students construct an authentic and comprehensive portrait of the past as they frame their own thoughts about what they are learning, resulting in a deeper level of interest and inquiry. Each lesson includes:
  • 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
For more information, questions or concerns please contact us.
PEDAGOGY PRINCIPLES FOR EFFECTIVE HOLOCAUST INSTRUCTION

PEDAGOGICAL PRINCIPLES FOR EFFECTIVE HOLOCAUST INSTRUCTION



December 2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, which depicts the true story of Oskar Schindler—a man who saved the lives of more than 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust. It was Spielberg’s experience making this film that inspired him to collect and preserve the testimonies of over 54,000 Holocaust survivors and witnesses, a pursuit which ultimately led to the creation of what is now USC Shoah Foundation.

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
Eva Lavi was the youngest survivor from Schindler’s list. She was two years old when the war began.
WATCH
EVA LAVI TESTIMONY
NAHUM & GENIA MANOR
Nahum Manor met and fell in love with his wife, Genia, in Schindler’s factory. Watch him read a letter at Schindler’s gravesite, expressing what he meant to them.
WATCH
NAHUM & GENIA MANOR




Visit the IWitness page commemorating the 25th anniversary of Schindler’s List for numerous additional resources to support teaching with this film.

CLASSROOM POSTER SERIES
INSPIRING THE HUMAN STORY
Echoes & Reflections is excited to announce that our poster series: Inspiring the Human Story, is now available in PDF format, free of cost.

The posters feature the powerful words and experiences of Holocaust survivor and memoirist Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor Kurt Messerschmidt, and Anne Frank rescuer, Miep Gies. Each poster promotes meaningful conversation and reflection in the classroom, whether in person or in a virtual setting, and inspires students with powerful human stories of the Holocaust that can continue to guide agency and action as a result of studying this topic.

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.



Please fill out the form below to access and download your PDF posters.

WE SHARE THE SAME SKY

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.



A self-portrait of Rachael while she is living on a Danish farm that is owned by the granddaughter of Hana’s foster mother from World War II. Photo by Rachael Cerrotti, 2017

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.



After many years of research and digitizing the archive her grandmother left behind, Rachael set out to retrace her grandmother’s 17 years of statelessness. Her intention was to travel via the same modes of transportation and to live similar style lives as to what her grandmother did during the war and in the years after. That meant that when she got to Denmark, she moved to a farm. Rachael moved in with the granddaughter of her grandmother’s foster mother from World War II and traded her labor for room and board as Hana once did. This picture is from that first visit in the winter of 2015. Since this time, Rachael has spent many more months living on this farm. It is owned by Sine Christiansen and her family. Sine is the granddaughter of Jensine, one Hana’s foster mother from World War II. Photo by Rachael Cerrotti, 2015


A self portrait of Rachael overlooking the exact spot in Southern Sweden where her grandmother’s refugee boat came to shore in 1943. Photo by Rachael Cerrotti, 2016
GRINGLAS UNIT ON CONTEMPORARY ANTISEMITISM
In honor and memory of the Gringlas Family members who were victims of the Shoah –
those who were murdered and those who survived.

RISING ANTISEMITISM IS RARELY THE LONE OR THE LAST EXPRESSION OF INTOLERANCE IN A SOCIETY.

- SAMANTHA POWER, ACADEMIC, AUTHOR, AND DIPLOMAT

PREPARING TO TEACH THIS UNIT  

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.

View More +
  • When teaching about contemporary antisemitism, it is essential to introduce students to the historical context behind this ‘longest hatred.’ Historical Antisemitism, Unit II, is a necessary prerequisite because it provides important context to understanding the long history of antisemitism and its classic tropes and delves into related concepts of propaganda, stereotypes, and scapegoating.

  • When discussing stereotypes with students, there is always the risk of introducing them to generalizations that they did not know before. Special care should be taken to reinforce the idea that while stereotypes and myths are easy to believe that does not make them true. It is also important to create an environment where students feel comfortable asking questions about the origins of specific stereotypes and why certain stereotypes continue to be believed. When discussing these issues with students, be cautious of the effect this discussion might have on them.

  • This unit introduces students to these topics and their relationship to antisemitism and other forms of prejudice. These themes–though important to unpack–can be frightening and confusing for students, and should be presented and contextualized in developmentally appropriate ways.

  • It is possible that students may witness an antisemitic incident in their own communities or schools, read or hear about an incident in the news or on social media, or may even be a victim of antisemitism themselves, but may not understand the source or impact of the act—they may even think that such words or actions are “no big deal.” This material provides teachers and their students with an opportunity to explore the complex phenomenon of contemporary antisemitism as well as options to respond and take action to prevent it as they consider the importance of doing so.

  • While this unit is specific to contemporary antisemitism, the material provides a springboard for discussion about prejudice and bias against other groups and the harm to individuals and society when such attitudes go unchecked. Students should be encouraged to discuss the role and responsibility of individuals to recognize and interrupt bias no matter what group is being targeted.

  • In advance of discussing the topics covered in this unit, teachers should think about whether they have any students in their class who are Jewish. Some students might feel relieved to discuss a topic that is relevant to their lives while others might feel awkward or embarrassed. This does not mean that teachers should not discuss the topic; however, be careful not to point
    out who is Jewish or put specific students on the spot to speak for Jewish people or about antisemitism. Consider talking with the students or their families in advance.


Close -
ABOUT THIS UNIT
Introduction

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.

    This unit is named in honor and memory of members of the Gringlas Family who were victims of the Holocaust. Watch this short video, The Bond of Brothers: Joseph and Sol Gringlas, to learn about brothers Joseph and Sol Gringlas who committed themselves to speaking to young people about their experiences and the critical importance of standing up to antisemitism.

    Essential Questions
    • 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?
    Objectives
    Students will:
    • Define and identify examples of historical and contemporary antisemitism.

    • Analyze historical and contemporary instances of antisemitism in order to understand how antisemitism has morphed in the modern era.

    • Demonstrate the scope and scale of antisemitism in today’s world.

    • Describe how classic forms of antisemitism have influenced and find expression in the new antisemitism.

    • Explain how antisemitism may sometimes be related to white nationalism.

    • Identify the features of the “new antisemitism,” including Holocaust denial and distortion and demonization of Israel.

    • Reflect on the skills and dispositions needed to respond effectively to antisemitism and other forms of bias.

    • Identify specific actions that they can take in their daily lives to combat hate.

    • Communicate their ideas about how different forms of prejudice are interconnected.

    • Construct evidence-based arguments on the features of contemporary antisemitism.


    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



    ACADEMIC STANDARDS
    The materials in this unit address many Common Core State Standards.
    View More »

      TESTIMONY VIDEO GUIDE
    View More »

      ASSET RESOURCE GUIDE
    View More »

      The Bond of Brothers: Joseph and Sol Gringlas


      ESTIMATED COMPLETION TIME

    160-170 minutes

    LESSON PLAN:

    The Enduring Problem of Antisemitism


    Introduction  

    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.

    PART 1: WHAT IS ANTISEMITISM AND HOW IS IT A FORM OF HATE?
    Post the supporting question above for students as you begin this part of the lesson.
     
    1Students 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.

      STUDENT HANDOUT
    Antisemitism View More »
    2The 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.pin1

      NOTE
    View More »
    3Students 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.

      STUDENT HANDOUT
    Introduction to Contemporary Antisemitism View More »
    4Students 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:
      ERICA VAN ADELSBERG
      ANNELIESE NOSSBAUM
    • Why did many think antisemitism would fade away after the Holocaust? Why do you think it has endured?

    • What illustration of contemporary antisemitism does Anneliese provide? What other examples are you aware of in your own communities that show the destructive impact of antisemitism?

    • Alvin points to the need to better understand the “sources and agents” of contemporary antisemitism. What can we do to better understand where this form of hate is coming from and why?

    • Erica says that we must “come to a feeling that there is something more for us to do.” Have you experienced this feeling in response to antisemitism or other forms of hate? What does it compel you to do?


    PART 2: HOW HAS ANTISEMITISM BEEN EXPRESSED OVER TIME?
    Post the supporting question above for students as you begin this part of the lesson.
     
    5Students 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:
    • What are the historic roots of antisemitism?

    • How is antisemitism like a superstition?

    • According to Professor Hayes, what makes antisemitism distinct from other forms of hate?

    • What does Hayes mean when he says that antisemitism keeps “morphing and shapeshifting”? Can you think of an example of how antisemitism has morphed in today’s world?


    6The 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:

      STUDENT HANDOUT
    The Through Lines of Antisemitism View More »
      STUDENT HANDOUT
    Antisemitism Over Time View More »
      STUDENT HANDOUT
    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.pin1
    7When 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:

      NOTE
    View More »
    • What stereotypes and prejudices about Jewish people have endured over time?

    • Are you surprised these prejudices and stereotypes still exist? Why?

    • What similarities and differences did you notice between earlier and more recent examples of antisemitism?

    • What do you think are some of the characteristic features of contemporary antisemitism?


    PART 3: WHAT IS THE SCOPE AND SCALE OF ANTISEMITISM IN TODAY’S WORLD?
    Post the supporting question above for students as you begin this part of the lesson.
     
    8Students 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).
    9Students 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:
    • A comparison of attitudes toward Jews across several countries

    • The number of hate crimes in the U.S. motivated by bias against different religions

    • A comparison of hate crimes in the U.S. across different categories (e.g., race gender, religion)

    • Knowledge of and attitudes about the Holocaust

    • Types of antisemitic incidents in the U.S.


    10The 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.

      STUDENT HANDOUT
    The Scope and Scale of Antisemitism View More »
    11When 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.
    • What specific facts are striking to you about the scope and scale of antisemitism?

    • Why do you believe antisemitism continues to grow so many decades after the Holocaust?


    12As 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.


      IWITNESS ACTIVITY
    A Thing of the Past? Antisemitism Past and Present
    here »


      ESTIMATED COMPLETION TIME

    125 minutes

    LESSON PLAN:

    The New Antisemitism


    Introduction  

    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.

    PART 1: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE FORCES THAT DRIVE ANTISEMITISM IN TODAY’S WORLD?
    Post the supporting question above for students as you begin this part of the lesson.
     
    1The 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.

      STUDENT HANDOUT
    Expressions of Antisemitism View More »
    2Students 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.

    3The 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:pin1

      STUDENT HANDOUT
    Tree of Life Synagogue Attack Word Cloud View More »
      NOTE
    View More »
    • 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:

    • What emotions came up when encountering this word cloud? What words did your eye first move towards?

    • Even if hate speech does not escalate to violence, why is it harmful and to whom?

    • By analyzing this language, what conclusions can you draw about how hate escalates?


    4The 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:

      STUDENT HANDOUT
    White Nationalism View More »
    • How does the antisemitism promoted by white nationalist groups today build on old ideas? How is it different? (Refer to the handout, Expressions of Antisemitism, as needed.)

    • How do you think the loss of life as a result of antisemitism has affected the Jewish community? Other targets?

    • How can the targets of antisemitism and other prejudice work collectively to resist hate?


    PART 2: WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HOLOCAUST DENIAL AND DISTORTION AND ANTISEMITISM?
    Post the supporting question above for students as you begin this part of the lesson.
     
    5Students 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.

      STUDENT HANDOUT
    Holocaust Denial and Distortion View More »
    6Students 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:
      FELIX SPARKS
      MARTA WISE
      NAOMI ADLER
    • What forms do Holocaust denial and distortion take? What belief systems are behind them?

    • How are Holocaust denial and distortion a form of antisemitism?

    • How do Holocaust denial and distortion attempt to delegitimize the State of Israel?

    • Why might some people be influenced by the ideas of deniers or distorters?

    • Naomi Adler says it is our job to make sure we know what is true. What are some steps we can take to make sure we are educated about important issues?

    • Felix Sparks says he will fight the “stupidity and viciousness” of Holocaust denial to his “last breath.” What are some ways you can stand up to this form of antisemitism when you encounter it?


    7Students 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.
    PART 3: HOW IS DELEGITIMIZATION OF ISRAEL A FORM OF ANTISEMITISM?
    Post the supporting question above for students as you begin this part of the lesson.
     
    8Referring 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.
    9Students review the handout, Antisemitism and the Three Ds, and the information in the note is used to provide context as needed.pin1

      STUDENT HANDOUT
    Antisemitism and the Three Ds View More »
      NOTE
    View More »

    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.

    10The 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.)

      STUDENT HANDOUT
    Case Studies of Antisemitism View More »
    11Groups 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.
    12As 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

    110-120 minutes

    LESSON PLAN:

    Action and Agency-Standing Against Antisemitism and Hate


    Introduction  

    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.

    PART 1: WHAT ARE THE QUALITIES AND SKILLS NEEDED TO TAKE ACTION AGAINST BIAS AND HATE?
    Post the supporting question above for students as you begin this part of the lesson.
     
    1The 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.

      STUDENT HANDOUT
    Miep Gies Quotes View More »
      NOTE
    View More »
    • What resonated for you about the quote? Why is it meaningful to you?

    • Do you think that elevating people to the status of “hero” is helpful or harmful in our society? Why?

    • What is your personal definition of
      moral courage?

    • What qualities or skills does it take for ordinary people to display courage?

    • Do you find Gies’ idea of “remorse” to be a motivating emotion? Why?


    2Students 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.
    3Students 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.

      STUDENT HANDOUT
    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.

    4Students 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.

      STUDENT HANDOUT
    Action Planning View More »
      STUDENT HANDOUT
    Taking Action: Scenarios for Discussion View More »
    5When 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.
    PART 2: HOW DOES PREJUDICE AGAINST ONE GROUP AFFECT ALL PEOPLE?
    Post the supporting question above for students as you begin this part of the lesson.
     
    6The 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.

    7Students 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:
    • Give an opinion – tell what you think or feel about a part of the text and why

    • Pose a question – inquire into something you don’t understand or something the text made you consider

    • Make a connection – discuss how the text relates to your own life, another text, or something in the larger world

    • Discuss a significant line or section – highlight a part of the text that is important
      and discuss what it means


    8The 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.

      STUDENT HANDOUT
    The Interconnectedness of Oppressions View More »
    9Students 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:
      SUZANNE COHN
      HERSCHEL GLUCK
      HENRY OERTELT

    TEACHER HANDOUT
    Group Action Project
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    • In what ways do Holocaust survivors see past injustices being repeated today?

    • Suzanne Cohn says, “you can be one making a difference.” What can one person do to reduce bigotry?

    • What did you learn from Herschel Gluck about the most effective way to break down prejudices?

    • Henry Oertelt says he is the prime example of what can happen when no one speaks up against prejudice. What can we all do to speak up when we experience or witness prejudice around us?


    10As 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.

    Making Connections  

    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.

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    1Search 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.
    2Reflect 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.
    3In 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.
    4In 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.
    5In 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?
    6While 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.
    KEY WORDS
    anti-Israel bias
    antisemitism
    apartheid
    BDS Movement
    bias
    dehumanize
    contemporary antisemitism
    delegitimization
    demonization/demonize
    double standard
    genocide
    hierarchy
    Holocaust
    Holocaust denial and distortion
    ideology
    Nazi
    neo-Nazi
    "new antisemitism"
    oppression
    Palestine/Palestinian
    propaganda
    Protocols of the Elders of Zion
    scapegoat
    Segregate/segregation
    stereotype
    swastika
    white nationalism
    white supremacist
    xenophobia  
    Zionism/anti-Zionism
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