On October 28, 2015 it will be 50 years since the seminal document, Nostra Aetate, was pronounced by Pope Paul VI. One cannot overemphasize the significance of Nostre Aetate to the relationship between Jews and Christians. Prior to this time Christian teaching portrayed Jews as archaic and rejected by God, obsessed by observance of the law […]
In the winter of 1938 a young British stockbroker decided to forego a skiing vacation in favor of helping Czech refugees fleeing the Germans. Nicholas Winton would go on to organize eight trainloads of mostly Jewish children bringing them to safety in Britain. A total of 669 children were rescued, and the story only became public […]
In May 1939 Nicholas Winton, the British stockbroker who engineered the rescue of nearly 700 Czech children, wrote to President Franklin Roosevelt asking for America to take in refugee children. Many of these children’s families would be deported to ghettos and death camps. National Archives Archivist David Langbart wrote a post in the Archives’ blog, “The Text […]
There are a number of excellent videos about Sir Nicholas Winton’s successful 1938 effort to rescue 669 Czech Children including a feature-length film “Nicky’s Children” produced by Czech and Slovak film studios; a “60 Minutes” interview with Sir Nicholas which aired in 2014, as well as a three-minute additional coverage on Winton’s letter to FDR asking […]
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 […]
In 2005 the United Nations General Assembly designated January 27, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, as an international day of remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation. This Resolution, A/RES/60/7, was motivated by a rejection of Holocaust denial, as well as an effort to […]
International Holocaust Remembrance Day was established on January 27, the liberation of Auschwitz. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation. One of the most moving pieces of footage from the liberation is of children liberated by the Soviet army on January 27, 1945. This video offers an opportunity to move students beyond the […]
Dr. Ervin Staub said, “Goodness, like evil, often begins in small steps. Heroes evolve; they aren’t born” (Choosing to Participate, Facing History and Ourselves, p. 30). What does it take to make someone a hero? What propels each one of us to become an “upstander” (Facing History and Ourselves), to take the steps from sympathy […]
As the war in Europe was drawing to a close, stories of rescue and bravery under the most difficult of conditions began to surface and make their way to the US. The JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) was at the forefront of bringing news to the American Jewish community. On October 5, 1944 the JTA published […]
When Juliette Stern, Henrietta Szold and their friends visited Palestine in the 1920s and 1930s, it was a rugged land with new settlements and cities in development. The film “Banim Bonim: Land of Promise,” from the Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive, documents young halutzim celebrating holidays, settling kibbutzim like Kibbutz Degania, and many other wonderful scenes from […]
May is Jewish American Heritage Month Jewish American Heritage Week was proclaimed in 1980 by President Jimmy Carter. In 2006 under President George W. Bush the celebration grew to a full month. See links to the history of Jewish American Heritage Month in our Featured Document section, as well as educational resources and teaching ideas. Watch a video of […]
This clip from 2012 shows President Obama delivering an address at the White House on May 30, 2012 to mark Jewish American Heritage Month.
In 1980 President Jimmy Carter, citing a joint resolution of Congress, proclaimed the week of April 21-28 as Jewish American Heritage Week. Both documents identify April as an appropriate time for drawing attention to Jewish heritage: Passover; the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising; Yom haAtzmaut; Solidarity Sunday for Soviet Jewry; and Yom haShoah. For […]
Yom Hashoah u’Gevurah, the day set aside to remember Holocaust victims and heroes, falls this year on Monday, April 28. Many schools commemorate the event with a school-wide ceremony, often in combination with reading the names of some of the six million Jewish victims of Nazi persecution. Go to our Featured Document to see the 1955 Israeli […]
The story of the Jews of Bulgaria during the Holocaust is one of surprising survival unlike the Jews of many other countries. In fact, the history of the Jewish community of Southern Europe is still relatively unknown. With five films and hundreds of interviews with elderly survivors, Centropa has created many resources available to teach your […]
In 1955 the Israeli Knesset passed a law establishing a special day of commemoration for Holocaust victims as well as those who resisted. The law provided that the day, to take place on the 27 of Nisan, would be marked by: two-minutes of silence halting all work and road traffic; memorial gatherings in Army bases and […]
I returned them unharmed to their cells, in the sanctuaries that make them happy. May all the gods that I returned to their sanctuaries, every day before Bel and Nabu, ask for a long life for me, and mention my good deeds, and say to Marduk, my lord, this: “Cyrus, the king who fears you, […]
“Faith in Iran” is a documentary in which an American Jewish woman explores Jewish life in Iran with the Jews of Shiraz. “Iran’s Jews” is a documentary from 2007 which looks at the life for Jews under the government of Ahmadinejad.
This year’s National Women’s History Month Celebrates Women of Character, Courage and Commitment. These women demonstrated these qualities “as mothers, educators, institution builders, business, labor, political and community leaders, relief workers, women religious, and CEOs. Their lives and their work inspire girls and women to achieve their full potential and encourage boys and men to […]
This five-minute video from the Monuments Men Foundation highlights a few of the men and women who rescued European art treasures stolen and hidden by the Nazis during World War II.
The feature film “Monuments Men” gives educators a wonderful opportunity to teach about this fascinating effort by the US forces under Gen. Dwight Eisenhower to rescue the art treasures of Europe. See the resources below, as well as our Featured Document and Featured Video selections on this topic. Background to the Story Commission for […]
Prof. Jane Gerber and Prof. Paulo Mendes Pinto discuss the history of Spanish-Portuguese Jews, hosted by Congregation Shearith Israel, the oldest Jewish community in the US.
The Presidents’ Birthdays in February offer a nice opportunity to teach about the rights confirmed by George Washington to the Jews of Newport, Rhode Island just after he assumed the presidency of the new United States. Facing History and Ourselves offers To Bigotry No Sanction: The George Washington Letter Project. This includes a free eBook […]
In 2005 the United Nations General Assembly designated January 27, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, as an international day of remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust. This Resolution, A/RES/60/7, was motivated by a rejection of Holocaust denial, as well as an effort to increase Holocaust education in European countries. While it is […]
Statement by President Harry S. Truman, November 13, 1945. Included in this statement is the text of a letter Truman sent to the Prime Minister of England in which he said: “…no other single matter is so important for those who have known the horror of concentration camps for over a decade as is the […]