Engage! (ing) Summer Reads

Posted by Tracy O'Brien on June 13, 2019



Summer is a time for relaxation. However, many of us also seek books and stories that will immerse us in the experiences of others, or will help us stay engaged in making a better world. Here are six picks that will teach, challenge, and inspire us.

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Topics: Democracy, Immigration, Race and Membership, Holocaust Education, LGBTQ, Reading List

Acclaimed Educator Frank Stebbins on Facing History and Human Rights Education

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on June 7, 2019

From left to right: Freeholder Alexander Mirabella, Frank Stebbins, and Dr. Hank Kaplowitz.

In a recent interview, I spoke with acclaimed educator Frank Stebbins about his path to teaching, unique approaches in the classroom, and how Facing History has been instrumental in his development as an educator. Stebbins was recently named the 2019 Frank Kaplowitz Outstanding Human Rights Educator of the Year by the Human Rights Institute at Kean University.

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Topics: Identity, Teachers, Universe of Obligation, Holocaust Education, Social-Emotional Learning, Holocaust and Human Behaviour, facing history pedagogy

Ariel Burger on the Task of the Educator During Yom HaShoah and Beyond

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on May 2, 2019

In a recent interview, I spoke with acclaimed writer, educator, rabbi, and scholar Ariel Burger about the task of the educator on Yom HaShoah—Holocaust Remembrance Day—and every day. A devoted protégé and friend of Elie Wiesel, Burger is the author of Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom.

KS: In your bio, you note that a major personal transformation that you underwent in your young adulthood has had a defining impact on your work and that this moment was meeting Professor Elie Wiesel. What did that meeting and relationship teach you?

AB: I think there are things we all go through at certain ages and for many of us, during our teenage years, we start asking very important and fundamental questions about who we are, what’s our role in the world, how can we make a difference, and also why does the world not make any sense, morally, ethically. Our deepest intuitions about the world don’t match up with the reality of how people treat one another.

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Topics: Holocaust, Holocaust Education, Jewish Education Program, international holocaust remembrance day

The Importance of Holocaust Scholarship

Posted by Daniel Osborn on September 25, 2018

Facing History and Ourselves offers students the opportunity to confront the histories of antisemitism and genocide so that their decisions today are informed by empathy, compassion, and humanity. We support teachers to  inspire students with the help of scholars whose research enters classrooms through our case studies. This matters because students are faced with complex choices about the world they are inheriting and the one they wish to build. And, they need deep knowledge in order to grapple with the realities of bigotry and respond to the challenges facing democracy.

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Topics: Holocaust Education

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

My Life as a Jewish Partisan, Part 1

Posted by Stacey Perlman on August 19, 2016

Sonia Orbuch, a Jewish partisan during World War II, recently took the time to answer questions submitted to her by students from AJ Elementary School in East Prairie, Missouri. Her story shines a light on Jewish resistance, which offers a contrast to the narrative that Jews were helpless victims during the Holocaust. Partisans were members of an organized body of fighters that formed to protect themselves from the brutality of the Nazi regime. Approximately 20,000 to 30,000 Jews escaped from Nazi ghettos and camps to form or join organized resistance groups.

Read her answers to these children’s questions in this three-part series to learn about how she joined the partisans, what life was like in the forest, and the dangers she faced resisting the Nazis.

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

3 Ways Educational Travel Inspires Lifelong Learning

Posted by Ben Gross on August 12, 2016

 During the March Break of 2016, a group of 31 students from three Toronto District School Board schools travelled to Germany, Czech Republic, and Poland to learn about the history of Jewish life in Europe and the Holocaust. These students were currently taking, or had previously taken, the Grade 11 elective course, Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity. They participated in two pre-trip meetings to help prepare them for the reality of actually facing the difficult history that they had only read and heard about in class. After the trip, we gathered together again to share memorials to our experience learning about this history in the places that it actually happened.

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Topics: Memory, Holocaust Education, Travel, Judgement and Legacy

The Holocaust and Human Behavior in Today’s World

Posted by Michael Fox and Megan Freund on July 21, 2016

Two years ago, the Anderson School in New York City partnered with Facing History and Ourselves to bring the Holocaust and Human Behavior curriculum into our eighth grade Social Studies and English Language Arts classes. This period of history is so widely studied but often the dark nature of it is hard for young students to grasp. That’s why we were excited to bring an interdisciplinary approach to our students’ learning that not only taught them the basics of the history but also engaged them on a deeper level of reflection on issues in their own lives.

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Topics: History, Holocaust and Human Behavior, ELA, Holocaust Education

The Evolution of Salvaged Pages

Posted by Alexandra Zapruder on May 9, 2016

 

*This post was adapted from the Preface to the Second Edition of Salvaged Pages: Young Writers’ Diaries of the Holocaust.

When Salvaged Pages: Young Writers' Diaries of the Holocaust was published in 2002, I expected that it would have a typical life span, generating some interest for a while and then tapering off. And then, something unexpected happened. Teachers, organizers of educators’ conferences, and Jewish community leaders who organized local Holocaust education wanted me to show teachers how to use Salvaged Pages in the classroom, and how it could complement instruction on Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl. Salvaged Pages gradually developed into an educational tool over the next decade.

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Topics: Webinar, Professional Development, Teaching Resources, Holocaust Education, Online Learning, Salvaged Pages

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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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