Universal Lessons of the Holocaust in Today's World

Posted by Marty Sleeper on May 16, 2017

Thirty-eight years ago, I was part of writing Facing History’s first edition of Holocaust and Human Behavior. It was a different time then. Holocaust education was minimal and what was taught tended to focus only on the concentration camps and the victimization of Jews and other “undesirable” groups. Students would often respond with the sentiment of, “What happened was horrible but what has that got to do with me? I can’t change the past.” That’s why I knew Facing History was onto something with Holocaust and Human Behavior all those years ago

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Topics: Holocaust and Human Behavior

How Asking "So What?" on Yom HaShoah Can Lead to a Better Future

Posted by Roger Brooks on April 24, 2017

Today is Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. Roger Brooks, Facing History’s President and CEO, shares his reflections about how we can study the past to empower young people to make positive choices that can change our future for the better.

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Topics: Holocaust and Human Behavior

3 Features You Need to Know About the New Holocaust and Human Behavior

Posted by Dan Sigward on April 3, 2017

April is Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month and at Facing History, we’ve revised our seminal case study, Holocaust and Human Behavior.  This revision is the culmination of five years of research, discussion, writing, and video and web production by the organization. We wanted to create a more dynamic experience for teachers and students as they grapple with this difficult history and the moral questions it raises. 

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Topics: Facing History Resources, Genocide/Collective Violence, Holocaust and Human Behavior

Journey to America: What's Your Story?

Posted by Dan Sigward on March 23, 2017

Every family in the United States originated from somewhere else. From Native Americans who migrated across a land bridge to North America to immigrants who sailed aboard a steamship to Ellis Island, many chose to come to America. Hundreds of thousands of others were brought here against their will aboard slave ships. 

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Topics: Immigration, Holocaust and Human Behavior, current events, We and They

How to Choose the Right Images When Teaching about Genocide

Posted by Adam Strom on March 9, 2017

Images are an important entry to stories of genocides and mass violence. They provide evidence and context but they can also shock us, jolting us into the immense amount of human suffering that occurred. This is why we must be careful when we prepare lessons for students that touch on such graphic and often difficult-to-absorb topics.

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Topics: Armenian Genocide, Photography, Genocide/Collective Violence, Holocaust and Human Behavior, genocide

Breaking Off the Beaten Path to Challenge Students

Posted by Brittany Burns on January 23, 2017

I’ve spent the last 10 years teaching at Algonquin Regional High School—a large, suburban school about 35 miles outside of Boston—and I serve as the social studies department chair as well. But years ago, when I’d just finished student teaching, I wasn’t sure I was on the right path. I was struggling to find a foundation that would guide my teaching and looking for something to confirm I was headed in the right direction.

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Topics: Professional Development, Teaching Strategies, Holocaust and Human Behavior, Summer Seminar, Lesson Plan

Questions Matter

Posted by Dana Pattison on December 5, 2016

So often my best teaching comes when I don’t give any information. A well-crafted question can provide far more information than the best slideshow presentation in the world. This is something that drew me to Facing History and Ourselves one fateful summer three and a half years ago when I went to a Holocaust and Human Behavior seminar. I liked that the session I attended often raised more questions than it answered and challenged me to complicate my thinking. When offered an opportunity to join the Facing History Leadership Academy, a group of educational leaders who have an in-depth understanding of the organization’s teaching framework and resources, I jumped at the chance. I was excited to expand my ability to question.

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Topics: Professional Development, Teaching, Teachers, Holocaust and Human Behavior, workshop

Reflecting on Kristallnacht 78 Years Later

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on November 11, 2016

November 9 marked the 78th anniversary of a series of violent attacks against Jews spread across Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia. Known as Kristallnacht, or “the night of broken glass,” it was the most open and violent attack on Jews by the Nazi regime up until that time. The aftermath was devastating: between 1,500 and 3,000 Jews were killed; 30,000 were sent to concentration camps; over 7,000 Jewish businesses were destroyed; and synagogues across Germany were burned down.

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Topics: Memory, Holocaust, Holocaust and Human Behavior, reflection

My Life as a Jewish Partisan, Part 3

Posted by Stacey Perlman on August 21, 2016

In the final part of our three-part series, "My Life as a Jewish Partisan," Sonia Orbuch shares what it was like to fight against the Nazis, including the dangers they faced, the loss of loved ones, and the need to preserve Jewish culture in hiding. Take a look back at part one for the beginning of Sonia’s story and part two to learn about what life was like in the forest. Her story shines a light on Jewish resistance, which offers a contrast to the narrative that Jews were helpless victims during the Holocaust. Students from AJ Elementary School in East Prairie, Missouri submitted their questions to Sonia. Read her answers to glimpse into her life as a resistance fighter.

Check out Sonia’s full story in her memoir, Here, There Are No Sarahs, and watch her video testimony on Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation’s website.  

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Topics: Holocaust, Survivor Testimony, Holocaust and Human Behavior, Holocaust Education, Jewish Educational Partisan Foundation

My Life as a Jewish Partisan, Part 2

Posted by Stacey Perlman on August 20, 2016

In part two of our three-part series, "My Life as a Jewish Partisan," we dive deeper into what daily life was like as a Jewish partisan living in the forest during the Holocaust. We recently shared the beginning of Sonia Orbuch’s partisan story, which starts in 1942 in the forests of Poland. She shines a light on Jewish resistance, which offers a contrast to the narrative that Jews were helpless victims during the Holocaust. Students from AJ Elementary School in East Prairie, Missouri submitted their questions to Sonia. Read her answers to glimpse into her life as a resistance fighter.

Check out Sonia’s full story in her memoir, Here, There Are No Sarahs, and watch her video testimony on Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation’s website.

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Topics: Holocaust, Survivor Testimony, Holocaust and Human Behavior, Holocaust Education, Jewish Educational Partisan Foundation

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Welcome to Facing Today, a Facing History blog. Facing History and Ourselves combats racism and antisemitism by using history to teach tolerance in classrooms around the globe.

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