meaningful learning for junior High schools at Massuah
Teaching the Holocaust to junior high schools
Massuah is recognized by the Israel Ministry of Education as a central institute for teaching of the Holocaust. Under its auspices, some 60,000 seminar days are offered each year. Massuah’s up-to-date exhibitions and multimedia centers encourage experiential and meaningful learning, tailored to junior-high students, on a wide variety of topics:
- “Photos from a Family Album”– activity in the exhibition hall on the Jewish world that used to be.
- “Growing Up in Nazi Germany”– the Nazi ideology through the prism of children’s literature, propaganda posters, and films. In the course of the workshop, students attend the first part of the “Hate Industry – Antisemitism and Racism, the Last 100 Years” exhibition
- “Child Survivors the Day after Liberation”– the “Salvino children,” a personal research workshop. Revealed here are the personal stories of child survivors who were gathered up from all over Europe and taken to Salvino House, an orphanage established by the Jewish Brigade in northern Italy. The workshop is specifically tailored to the junior-high level and held in small groups. The interesting and intriguing activity encourages participation and experiential learning.
- “About People and Artifacts”– a workshop on the meaning of young people’s personal artifacts and their loss. The patterns invoked by children and adolescents to cope with loss during the Holocaust are discussed through the medium of elements of our own personal identity.
- “Facing the Rising Sun”– the Zionist youth movements in the 1930s and during and after the Holocaust, explored by means of a multiscreen presentation and testimonies of underground fighters, youth-movement members, who survived.
- “Rescue during the Holocaust”– the meaning of rescue during the Holocaust, with discussion of various characteristics of rescue and the personae of the rescuers. The range of activities includes a creative workshop that commemorates dilemmas and values associated with rescue.
- “Destination Unknown”– a challenging research workshop
A visit to the “Addressee has Left – Destination Unknown” exhibition for experiential research. Activity is based on “codes” that acquaint participants with various uses of postal services during the war: by the Nazi authorities, the Jewish leadership, and the Jews in the ghettos.
- Art workshop – “Holocaust, Memory, and Identity”: creative art as a path to reflection.
- Activity at multimedia centers – prejudices and stereotypes in Israeli society; “Being Israeli” – components of the Israeli identity.
Additional contents can be developed in accordance with participants’ age and the school’s goals. Another possibility is to produce, in conjunction with the school’s teaching faculty, educational projects that combine a workshop at Massuah with school activity.