- 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 Podcast for the Middle and High School Classroom
We Share The Same Sky, USC Shoah Foundation’s first podcast, brings the past into our present through a granddaughter’s decade-long journey to retrace her grandmother’s story of survival.
In 2009, Rachael Cerrotti asked her grandmother a question: Will you tell me your story? Rachael was a college student and her grandmother, Hana, was 84 years old—the matriarch of one family and the sole survivor of another. For the following year, Rachael recorded the details of her grandmother’s childhood, her escape from war and her immigration to the United States. After Hana’s death in 2010, Rachael became entrenched in her grandmother’s story, digitizing Hana’s personal archive of diaries, photo albums, immigration papers and more. When the digitizing felt nearly complete, she went out to retrace the history. Along the way, Rachael fell so deep into her grandmother’s life that it became the foundation of her own.
We Share The Same Sky tells the two stories of these young women—Hana as a refugee who remains one step ahead of the Nazis at every turn, and Rachael on a search to retrace her grandmother’s history. The seven-part series explores how the retelling of family stories becomes history itself and how acts of kindness during war can echo across generations.
Listen to We Share The Same Sky on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and most podcast streaming services, as well as on the We Share The Same Sky page in IWitness.
To support its classroom use, USC Shoah Foundation and Echoes & Reflections have created a Companion Educational Resource to support teachers as they introduce the podcast with their students.
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.
- ELIE WIESEL, JEWISH SURVIVOR
Below is information to keep in mind when teaching the content in this unit. This material is intended to help teachers consider the complexities of teaching about contemporary antisemitism and to deliver accurate and sensitive instruction.
This unit provides an opportunity for students to understand that antisemitism did not end after the Holocaust. Students will learn about the persistence of antisemitism worldwide and analyze the different types of contemporary antisemitism that are present in society today. These include classical to newer forms of antisemitism as well as new forms based on old ideas. In addition, students will be introduced to individuals who refuse to be bystanders to antisemitism as they consider the responsibility of all members of society to respond to and prevent antisemitism and all forms of bigotry.
ESTIMATED COMPLETION TIME
Introduction to Contemporary Antisemitism
|1||Begin this lesson by helping students develop a framework for learning about contemporary antisemitism by defining the term “antisemitism.” Display the definition of antisemitism handout and read and discuss together.|
Antisemitism View More »
|2||After reviewing the definition, have students share their thoughts about whether antisemitism is primarily a problem of the past or if they think it is also a concern today. Invite students to share examples of antisemitism that they are aware of in their own communities or on a national and/or international level. If students have ever encountered or witnessed words or actions that they would describe as antisemitic, have them explain what happened and how they and/or others responded.|
|3||Display the photo of antisemitic graffiti and ask students to describe what they see and share their thoughts about the image and its message. Ask students if they are surprised at how recently this act of vandalism took place and whether the incident fits the definition of antisemitism and why.|
|4||Using the various examples discussed, elicit students’ thoughts on whether they think the antisemitism of today is the same or different from the antisemitism expressed during the Holocaust.|
|5||Display the ADL Global 100: An Index of Anti-Semitism (global100.adl.org). Provide the following background information about the survey:|
|6||Display and direct students’ attention to the “Map” section on the ADL 100 Global website and elicit responses to the following questions:|
|7||Assign students to go the ADL Global 100 website on their own or in pairs and explore the “Did You Know” section. Distribute the Antisemitism Today: Interpreting Data handout and instruct students to answer the questions. Remind students to click on the links on the webpage, which provide important details.|
Antisemitism Today: Interpreting Data View More »
|8||After reviewing some or all of the responses to the questions about the survey data, tell students they will now watch two clips of testimony from individuals who experienced antisemitism after the Holocaust. After introducing students to [L]Felix Sparks[/L] and [L]Marta Wise[/L], show the two clips of testimony.|
|9||After students have watched the testimonies, ask them if they heard anything from Felix and Marta that supported or differed from what they know or understand about antisemitism today. Additional questions for discussion might include:|
|10||Prepare students to read the Introduction to Contemporary Antisemitism handout by reviewing key terms and phrases as necessary. Distribute the text and have students study it as a whole group, in small groups, or individually.|
Introduction to Contemporary Antisemitism View More »
|11||After reading the handout, conduct a discussion with students using some or all of the questions below.|
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|12||Conduct a “3-2-1 Assessment” whereby students respond to the following:|
A Thing of the Past? Antisemitism Past and Present
ESTIMATED COMPLETION TIME
Examples of Antisemitism Today
|1||Display the statement below and ask a volunteer to read it aloud. Have students share their thoughts on the power of words (e.g., words can influence people; inspire positive change, have harmful consequences) and give examples of when words have been used with both positive and negative results. “Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity.” —Yehuda Berg, author|
|2||In addition to words, encourage students to consider how images that we see around us (e.g., magazine covers, posters, advertisements) can influence our perceptions and opinions. Have students share examples of images that they have seen across a variety of outlets (including social media) that they believe are either positive or negative.|
|3||Have students consider whether in a world where words and images can be conveyed to a large number of people easily and quickly through various media and social networks, if there is a greater responsibility than was needed in the past for people to be cautious with the messages and images they promote.|
|4||Before moving on to manifestations of contemporary antisemitism, remind students of the antisemitic words and images they studied when learning about propaganda used in Nazi Germany and how it affected the people who saw it (e.g., Esther Clifford’s memories of seeing antisemitic posters on her way to school shared in Antisemitism unit).|
|5||Explain to students that in this lesson they will look at how antisemitism manifests itself today and in order to understand the words and images they will study, they need to understand the primary ways that antisemitism is expressed. Display and review Types of Antisemitism handout.|
Types of Antisemitism View More »
|6||Explain to students that one of the complexities of contemporary antisemitism is that there is often a conflation of ideas centered around the denial and distortion of the Holocaust and opposition to 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. As a framework to help understand this issue, review and distribute When Does Criticism of Israel Become Antisemitism handout with students.|
When Does Criticism of Israel Become Antisemitism? View More »
|7||Distribute A Brief History of Israel handout and review together. Explain that this information will provide the necessary background information about the history and development of Israel and the context to understand some of the examples of contemporary antisemitism they will be asked to analyze.|
A Brief History of Israel View More »
|8||Print and distribute the Antisemitic Words and Images: Past and Present handout. Review the directions at the top of the handout with the class. In small groups, have students read the statements and study the images and then answer the questions that follow.|
Antisemitic Words and Images: Past and Present View More »
|9||Remind students that examples of antisemitism can be found in the news today and that individuals in the United States and around the world are feeling its impact. Before sharing and discussing the examples below, ask students to consider whether antisemitism is an issue that affects Jewish people only or if it is a broader matter that should concern everyone.|
|10||Distribute the Examples of Contemporary Antisemitism handout to students. Read the first example and then follow with the videos and discussion questions below.|
Examples of Contemporary Antisemitism View More »
|11||Read the second example and have students look closely at the photos. Follow with a discussion using the questions below.|
|12||Read the third example and conduct a discussion using the questions below.|
|13||To close this part of the lesson, circle back to the question posed earlier and have students consider whether they think antisemitism is an issue that affects Jewish people only or if it is a broader matter that concerns everyone. Encourage them to support their position with examples from the material they have just studied.|
ESTIMATED COMPLETION TIME
Taking a Stand against Antisemitism
|1||Display the following statement by Jewish Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel and read it aloud: “What hurts the victim most is not the cruelty of the oppressor, but the silence of the bystander.”|
|2||Have students share what they think Elie Wiesel meant by this statement and how his sentiment might relate to antisemitism today.|
|3||To begin the conversation about what can be done to stand up to antisemitism, have students consider why it is important for individuals and communities to speak out against this and all forms of prejudice and bias. What are the benefits to a society when individuals and institutions speak out against unfairness? What are the costs to a society that allows bias and prejudice to go unchecked and uninterrupted?|
|4||Help bring the discussion to the individual level by asking students what exactly we mean by “society.” Who comprises a society? If we are all part of the society in which we live, what is the role and responsibility of individuals to be vigilant about how people are treated and to speak out when they see injustice? Ask students whether they think individuals have the capacity to make a difference through their words and actions at home, in school, in the community, and beyond.|
|5||Share with students that ordinary people can inspire others to create positive change. While some actions require moral courage; many only require personal motivation, time, and energy. Tell students that they will be introduced to three young people who, through their words and actions, are confronting antisemitism.|
|6||Distribute the Profiles of Young Activists handout. Have a volunteer read the profile of Siavosh Derarkhti aloud. Review the term “xenophobia” in the Glossary prior to the reading. Have students share their thoughts about Siavosh and his efforts to address antisemitism and xenophobia using some or all of the following questions:|
Profiles of Young Activists View More »
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|7||Have a volunteer read the profile of Izzy Lenga aloud. Follow by having students share their initial reactions to the actions that Izzy decided to take when she witnessed antisemitism. Continue the discussion using the questions below.|
|8||Prior to reading the next profile, ask students if they have ever heard of the “BDS Movement,” and if so, what do they understand it to be. Explain to students that the BDS Movement is a campaign to support the Palestinian cause by calling on the international community to impose boycotts and implement divestment efforts against Israel. Explain that some supporters of BDS may genuinely believe that these efforts will encourage Israel to change policies with which they disagree; however, the predominant drive of the campaign and its leadership is not criticism of Israel’s policies; but an attempt to delegitimize, punish, or isolate Israel unfairly and seek to place the entire onus of the conflict on one side. For more information, distribute The BDS Movement handout or use it as a reference.|
The BDS Movement View More »
|9||Have a volunteer read the profile of Leora Eisenberg aloud. Follow with a discussion about the work Leora is doing using the questions below.|
|10||After reading and discussing all three profiles, have students think about what the word “activist” means to them and whether they think Siavosh, Izzy, and Leora are activists, and explain why or why not. Encourage students to share information about activists that they are aware of in their communities.|
|11||Remind students that there are many ways for individuals to become involved in standing up to antisemitism and other forms of prejudice and hatred today. Elicit from students ideas that they may have, including joining and becoming involved with various organizations.|
|12||Review the meaning of the term “bystander” from the Glossary. Have students think about whether or not being a bystander is a choice people make. Ask students why they think the individuals that they have learned about so far in this lesson chose NOT to be bystanders?|
|13||Tell students that they will now watch two clips of testimony from Holocaust survivors. Encourage students to think about what survivors like [L]Barbara Fischman Traub[/L] and [L]Henry Oertelt[/L] teach us about prejudice, antisemitism, and the dangers of being a bystander as they watch the testimonies.|
|14||After students have watched the testimony clips, have them discuss the role that bystanders played during the Holocaust in comparison to the role they might play as witnesses to antisemitic acts today. Continue the discussion with some or all of the following questions:|
|15||In this next section, inform students that they will be provided with a scenario that they will discuss in small groups. Distribute the Taking Action: Scenarios for Discussion handout and assign each group one of the scenarios to read and discuss using the questions provided.|
Taking Action: Scenarios for Discussion View More »
|16||Close the lesson by having students prepare a “Quick Write.” Reflecting on what they have learned about contemporary antisemitism, have students share thoughts on the words of Samantha Power, former US Ambassador to the United Nations: “Antisemitism is not just an issue for Jewish groups or Jewish individuals. Antisemitism is a human rights threat, a human rights phenomenon, a human rights problem. And it’s important, I think, as a predictor of where society is going.”|
The questions below, used in class or as homework, prompt 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 others in class or from the teacher’s.
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 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||Data regarding antisemitic incidents and hate crimes in the United States are often routinely updated. Have students research current reports prepared and disseminated by organizations like the Anti-Defamation League (adl.org) and Southern Poverty Law Center (splc.org) to identify current trends and consider possible reasons for either the increase or decrease in such incidents. Findings can be presented in graphs that illustrate changes over time by state or region of the country.|
|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 else do 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.|