In 2013 Israel’s Ministry of Education announced a plan to teach about the Holocaust to students as young as six. Previously only students in grade 11 studied the Holocaust, in preparation for a class trip to Poland. The plan to begin Holocaust education in elementary school and continue it through 12th grade drew a great deal of criticism. In the newspaper Haaretz, columnist Uri Misgav wrote, “the kids in the education system are being frightened by numerous memorial ceremonies and endless drills to prepare them for catastrophes…. Enough with this psychosis.”
How young is too young to begin to teach about the Holocaust? How can we structure a program that is age-appropriate? Here are a few resources to get you started.
Beginning Holocaust Education — article in Jewish Educational Leadership
Best Practices in Holocaust Education: Guidelines and Standards — article in Jewish Educational Leadership
Guidelines for Teaching About the Holocaust — from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
How Do You Teach Children About the Holocaust? Interview with Shulamit Imber, Pedagogical Director of the International School for Holocaust Studies, Yad Vashem
A review of New Picture Books on the Holocaust from Tablet Magazine