Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Teachers guide and exhibition on Jewish resistance

The Museum of Jewish Heritage has an interesting website with a very good resource for teachers.  From 2007-2008 they sponsored an exhibit called "Jewish Defiance in the Holocaust."  While the exhibit has long since closed, the website is still open and a teacher's guide is still available.

Asking students to think about what resistance entails when teaching about the Holocaust is an important topic.  While people might think of armed rebellion as the only form of true resistance, resistance goes much deeper than that. 

Smuggling bread, teaching in secret, or rescuing a Torah scroll were all examples of resistance too.  This teacher's guide provides background information, developed lessons, and lots of primary sources.

I find one of the most interesting parts of the guide to be a lesson on ethical wills.  We might think of a will as a way of dividing up our personal belongings after we pass away, but an ethical will is about putting your values and beliefs on paper.  It challenges students to think about what is really important in life and how even attempting to pass along your values is a form of resistance. 

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