- 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.
What is antisemitism and how has this form of hatred endured into the contemporary era?
|1||Help students develop a framework for learning about contemporary antisemitism by defining the term. Have students turn and talk to a partner about what the term antisemitism means to them. Distribute or display the handout, Antisemitism, and discuss together, noting similarities to or differences from students’ personal definitions.|
Antisemitism View More »
|2||Post the quote at the top of this lesson from scholar and Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel: “Once I thought that antisemitism had ended; today it is clear to me that it will probably never end.” Ask students to react to the quote. Highlight that antisemitism has existed for millennia and is still prevalent today, which is why it is referred to as the “longest hatred.” Explain that we use the term contemporary antisemitism to describe this form of hatred in today’s world, and that it both reflects old hatreds and expresses itself in new and problematic forms. Invite students to 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, have them explain what happened and how they and/or others responded.|
|3||Tell students that during this lesson, they will investigate the ways in which antisemitism manifests in the world today. Individually or in pairs, assign students to read the Introduction to Contemporary Antisemitism handout, highlighting key ideas and noting any questions that come up for them. When they are done, gather the class to answer students’ questions and clarify concepts as needed.|
Introduction to Contemporary Antisemitism View More »
|4||Show students the short video, Antisemitism after the Holocaust, in which Professor Alvin Rosenfeld of Indiana University discusses the persistence of antisemitism. Then, after introducing students to [L]Erica Van Adelsberg[/L] and [L]Anneliese Nossbaum[/L], watch their testimonies.|
Discuss some of the following questions with students:
|5||Show students 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. Discuss the following:|
|6||Distribute the handout, The Through Lines of Antisemitism, and review with students. Explain that they will take notes as they investigate sources exploring the common or connecting themes of antisemitism in different places and time periods. Divide the class into small groups and give each a sheet of chart paper and markers. Have groups replicate the chart from the handout on the large paper.|
The Through Lines of Antisemitism View More »
Antisemitism Over Time View More »
Antisemitic Words and Images View More »
- Part 1 – Historical Survey: Assign small groups to each review at least one of the five sources in the handout, Antisemitism Over Time, which track some of the ways antisemitism has manifested over the past century. Have them add notes to their chart as they review.
- Part 2 – Contemporary Examples: Assign small groups to review at least one statement and one visual from the Antisemitic Words and Images handout, which focuses on modern-day examples of antisemitism. Have them 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 completed their review, have them post their charts so that their notes are visible to the whole class. Ask for volunteers to share back or highlight significant facts or ideas from the sources. Discuss some of the following questions:|
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|8||Tell students that they will next investigate the scope and scale of antisemitism in the modern world. Ask for students to define these terms. (Scope is the extent or range of something; scale is the size of something.)|
|9||Explain to students 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||Divide the class into small groups and distribute the handout, The Scope and Scale of Antisemitism. Depending on the needs of learners, you may assign each group a specific source to review or allow them to select. Provide students access to laptops or tablets in order to view sources.|
The Scope and Scale of Antisemitism View More »
|11||When students have completed their graphs or graphic representations, have them post their work around the room and take a silent gallery walk. Post the questions below for students to reflect on while walking. Discuss them as a class following the gallery walk.|
|12||As a summative assessment for this lesson, have 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 should use relevant evidence from the sources in this lesson and communicate specific themes and contexts related to contemporary antisemitism. Have them give the segment a title that reflects their understanding of the ideas explored in this lesson. Have students deliver the segments to the class as time allows and collect their work in order to check for comprehension of lesson concepts.|
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.
How has antisemitism morphed in the contemporary era?
|1||Explain to students that in this lesson they will examine some of the primary forces and manifestations of antisemitism today, which have both similarities and differences to earlier periods in history. To help understand the examples they will study, display and review the Expressions of Antisemitism handout and discuss with students. Point out that while contemporary antisemitism reflects elements of all these categories, this lesson will focus especially on “New expressions of antisemitism.”|
Expressions of Antisemitism View More »
|2||Ask students if they are familiar with the Tree of Life Synagogue attack that took place in Pittsburgh in 2018. Allow them to share what they know and provide the following background 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||This activity asks students to critically analyze strong antisemitic language and deduce how hateful rhetoric can escalate to violence. Students may find this language shocking or offensive. Consider strategies to maintain a safe classroom environment for students.|
Tree of Life Synagogue Attack Word Cloud View More »
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Project or distribute the Tree of Life Synagogue Attack Word Cloud handout and explain that it reflects some of the language the assailant posted online in the lead-up to the attack. In pairs or small groups, have students analyze the language for clues about what might have fueled his irrational hatred and to identify traditional antisemitic themes. Engage in a full group discussion on students’ findings, making sure the following themes are considered:
- 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.
Conclude this activity with some or all of the following discussion questions:
|4||Explain 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. Project or distribute the handout, White Nationalism, and review this information with students. Discuss the following:|
White Nationalism View More »
|5||Ask students to define the word denial (the action of declaring something to be untrue). Ask students to define the word distortion (the action of giving a misleading account or impression). Explain that denial and distortion of the Holocaust and of Jewish victimhood are often characteristic features of contemporary antisemitism. Project or distribute the handout, Holocaust Denial and Distortion, and review with students.|
Holocaust Denial and Distortion View More »
|6||Show student the video, Holocaust Denial, Explained, from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum). Then introduce students to [L]Felix Sparks[/L], [L]Marta Wise[/L], and [L]Naomi Adler[/L] and show their testimonies. Have students note key words and phrases that stand out to them and thoughts and questions that come up as they listen.|
Discuss some of the following questions with students:
|7||Assign students to create a “found poem” using the notes they took in response to the videos. To accomplish this, they will 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. Following the exercise, collect students’ poems to check for understanding.|
|8||Referring again to the Expressions of Antisemitism handout, explain to students 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. Ask students to share what they know about Israel and what have been their sources of information.|
|9||Distribute and spend time reviewing the handout, Antisemitism and the Three Ds. Explain to students that one of the complexities of this form of antisemitism is that Israel often becomes the focus of the hatred of Jews, and treated with double standards. In this way, antisemitic ideas once directed at “the Jew” become centered around opposition to Israel, but because this criticism is directed against a country, this antisemitism is often able to disguise itself as political criticism. A classic symptom of the new antisemitism, Jewish people, regardless of where they live, have been increasingly targeted as responsible for the actions and policies of Israel. This rising hatred has led to harassment, discrimination and even violence. Explain that the “3Ds Test” helps us to break this down to be able to understand and identify this new form of antisemitism.|
Antisemitism and the Three Ds 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.
|10||Tell students that in order to understand these issues more fully, they will review real-life contemporary case studies. Divide students into groups and distribute Case Studies of Antisemitism handout, assigning one of the example types to each small group. Instruct groups to discuss how antisemitism was at play in their scenario. The response should answer the supporting question and include evidence from the case studies to support their conclusions. Groups should report to the class and discuss their conclusions as time allows. (Note: As helpful, The BDS Movement overview document can be used as background for educators or as a student handout, if appropriate.)|
|11||Instruct groups to discuss how antisemitism was at play in their scenario and to post a written response on the case study using sticky notes. The response should answer the supporting question and include evidence from the case studies to support their conclusions. After groups have posted their responses, they can be asked to report back to the class on their conclusions as time allows.|
|12||As a summative assessment for the overall lesson, have 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. They 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.
What can we do to make a difference in the face of antisemitism and other forms of hate?
|1||Begin this lesson by having students reflect on and discuss quotes from Miep Gies about courage and our responsibility to take action against prejudice and hate. Share the biographical information from the Miep Gies Quotes handout with students. Post some or all the quotes around the room and have students stand by one that resonates for them. In small groups, have them discuss some of the following questions.|
Miep Gies Quotes View More »
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|2||Highlight Miep Gies’ sentiment that even an ordinary person can “turn on a small light in a dark room.” Tell students that, during this lesson, they will investigate ways that ordinary people (them!) can stand up against prejudice and intolerance in their communities.|
|3||Ask students to identify people they know in their own lives or in public life or history who have stood against bias or hate. Have them turn and talk to a partner about what they think enabled these people to help others. Tell students that they will read profiles of ordinary young people who have stood up against prejudice and list specific qualities and skills that enabled them to do so. In small groups, assign students to read one or more of the case studies in the handout, Profiles of Young Activists, and create a list of attributes.|
Profiles of Young Activists View More »
Ask each group to decide on three qualities from their profiles that they think are most important. Have them write those qualities “graffiti style” on large sheets of chart paper posted at the front of the room. Discuss why students 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||Tell students that they will practice applying some of the behaviors they have thought about to real-life scenarios. Provide each student with the handout, Action Planning, and review together. Assign small groups a scenario from the Taking Action: Scenarios for Discussion handout or allow them to select one that feels relevant to them. Have them discuss the scenario using the discussion questions provided and then complete the action planning grid in response to the scenario.|
|5||When groups have completed the task, 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, have students report back on the highlights of their initial discussions and share the action plans they have devised.|
|6||Post the following quotes:|
“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.
Ask students to 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. Have them turn and talk with a partner about this question.
|7||Tell students that they will read about the ideas of some notable people on “the interconnectedness of oppressions” or the notion that prejudice of any kind affects all people. Explain that they will write a response to one text that does one of the following:|
|8||Distribute The Interconnectedness of Oppressions handout and assign students to read one or more of the texts. After they write their response paragraphs, have students share them aloud and discuss in small groups.|
The Interconnectedness of Oppressions View More »
|9||After introducing students to [L]Suzanne Cohn[/L], [L]Herschel Gluck[/L], and [L]Henry Oertelt[/L], conclude the lesson by playing one or more of their testimonies, which emphasize the importance of creating understanding across our human differences and standing against all forms of prejudice. Discuss some of the following questions with students:|
Group Action Project
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|10||As a summative assessment for this lesson, have 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 should 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 can create their designs individually or in small groups. As an optional follow-up, students can print and distribute their designs to others
The topics below can be used as prompts–in class or as homework–for students to reflect on what they are learning and its meaning in their own lives and in society. These queries are excellent for journaling, allowing students to create their own primary source material. Keep in mind, the sensitive and emotional nature of the topics may preclude teacher evaluation. If journaling is used as an assessment tool, assure students that they will not be evaluated negatively for expressing opinions that may be different from those of their teachers or peers.
The additional activities and projects listed below can be integrated directly into the lessons in this unit or can be used to extend lessons once they have been completed. The topics lend themselves to students’ continued study of antisemitism and the Holocaust as well as opportunities for students to make meaningful connections to other people and events, including relevant contemporary issues. These activities may include instructional strategies and techniques and/or address academic standards in addition to those that were identified for the unit.
|1||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. Have students research how the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects free speech and what limits it puts on hate speech. Have them compare U.S. norms with those of another country that has stronger protections, citing at least one specific case in each country. Challenge students to articulate whether and how U.S. law should be changed to protect its citizens against hate speech.|
|2||Social media sites are replete with hate speech. Not only do original posts include antisemitic and other hateful words and images, but also the comment sections that follow such posts (as well as perfectly innocent posts) demonstrate the pervasiveness of the problem. Most major social media companies (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) have policies regarding whether and what kind of hate speech are permitted, but these policies are often inconsistent, unevenly applied, and difficult to understand. Working in small groups, have students research how two or three social media sites monitor and regulate hate speech and hateful ideas, and decide whether they believe the policies in place are sufficient and, if not, what they believe is needed to curtail hate speech in social media.|
|3||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. Have students research examples of communities and individuals who have taken a stand against hateful acts and present in a multimedia presentation.|