Students come to us from around the world concerned about how Holocaust education will change as fewer and fewer survivors are able to speak to students about this horrific event. Because of this challenge, in 2014, we added three new faculty members to our program to offer diverse and unique courses in Holocaust education including: “Holocaust Education for Democratic Values,” “From Violence to Tolerance: Psychological Issues in Holocaust Education” and “From Silence to Omnipresence – Holocaust in the Curriculum.”
One of these new faculty members is Dr. Nurit Novis Deutsch. The course which Nurit will be teaching in summer of 2015 at the Weiss-Livnat International MA in Holocaust Studies, integrates two parts: psychological and educational. The first part will focus on theories and studies from the field of psychology regarding the dark side of humanity: prejudice, racism, violence and evil. Using the Holocaust as a case-study, we will ask the following questions: How were Nazi soldiers capable of committing the atrocities they did, and what might this teach us about the human propensity for evil?; How could the silent majority stand by as these atrocities were taking place, and what might this teach us about the bystander effect and conformity?; How do ideology and stereotypes converge to foster prejudice and racism, and what can this teach us about moral development? In debating these questions we will consider the both situational and personality perspectives.
The second part of the course will turn to the field of education: We will make use of psychology’s findings in order to devise educational programs which foster tolerance, pluralism and non-violence, and which educate students about the dangers of racism, prejudice and violence. Holocaust education will be our guiding framework for planning these programs, but they may be used in broader educational frameworks. The course will make use of the diverse background of its students by encouraging students to apply these discussions to their specific contexts and countries of origin.
We are also proud to offer our students the experience of interacting with local middle school students at Nofim Elementary school through a special internship in which students create their own curricula under the guidance of Madene Shachar. Six students were accepted for this unique opportunity and have been working throughout the year to build age-appropriate and meaningful lesson plans for English speaking 5th and 6th graders at this school.
We are proud to have cultivated a program that allows students to come from around the world to become Holocaust experts, and we are excited to see how these new education efforts will influence students around the world as our alumni build their careers.
Interested in applying for our MA in Holocaust Studies Program? You can find the application and more information at our website: http://holocaust-studies.haifa.ac.il/