The International School for Holocaust Studies
Teaching the Legacy: e-Newsletter for Holocaust Educators
Special Outreach Program for Students Studying in Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor Schools
In a workshop entitled “The Holocaust and Me,” one young man said, “the Holocaust isn’t mine, it’s only for those from Ashkenazi descent.” Another student claimed he was “sick of learning about the Holocaust.”
Although we grappled with a number of serious challenges in designing this special program for students studying in Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor schools, today approximately three thousand 11th graders participate in the program, including 500 from the Arab sector. These students, who have not been able to integrate into standard educational frameworks, often come from disadvantaged backgrounds. They attend schools run by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, combining regular studies with a practicum.
The staff of the International School for Holocaust Studies views this four-day program as a unique opportunity to promote Holocaust consciousness among many students who lack a strong background in world history. The program requires the adaptation of existing programs as well as special training for the guides, so as to impart meaningful educational and emotional insights.
The main objective of this program is to introduce youth to the Holocaust and its implications for humanity in general and for Israeli society in particular. An additional objective is to impart the pupils with historical knowledge, encouraging them to ask questions regarding human nature, Israeli society and its struggle with personal and collective memory, as well as human dilemmas and the tragedy of the period.
At the conclusion of a seminar, one student said, “Now I have lots of questions. I’ll never fully understand the disaster or be able to answer all the questions. However after all these meetings it’s clear to me that the Holocaust can’t be denied, and that we have to learn the lessons for the future to prevent this from ever happening again to us or to anyone else.”