Holocaust education is taught all over the world to learners of different ages and backgrounds. Educators take different perspectives, approaches, and meanings from the Holocaust, and make them important and relevant to the lives of their students today. Many of the students who have already studied in The Weiss-Livnat International MA Program in Holocaust Studies, and students that will be part of our degree program in the future are preparing to enter the field of Holocaust education, or come to study in our program with the goal of further developing their skills as Holocaust educators. The Weiss-Livnat International MA Program in Holocaust Studies is proud to offer our students a wide variety of formal and informal educational opportunities that equip them with an arsenal of knowledge that will prepare them for entering various facets of the field of Holocaust studies. In addition to the numerous Holocaust education courses that are offered during the course of the academic year, we are proud to share the first year pilot of a Holocaust Education Internship in which our students created and taught six Holocaust education lessons to sixth and seventh grade students at the Nofim Elementary School, right here in Haifa.
The aim of this internship was to build an academic community of students under the supervision of esteemed Holocaust educator Madene Shachar, who together would explore various approaches and perspectives toward Holocaust education and create a six part Holocaust education program that fit their own collaborative view. After researching the existing approaches and lesson plans for Holocaust education, the internship group began to define their own learning goals, rationales, and objectives that they had for their specific group of learners. These learning goals were then dissected further to help the interns decide the topic for each lesson and the best way to design and structure each lesson plan.
The interns decided that their general approach was to teach the story of the Holocaust through the perspectives, stories, and diaries of children that lived during the Holocaust. Once this basic tenet of the group’s approach was chosen, the program quickly took off as the interns began to creatively represent different Holocaust narratives through the testimonies, letters, diaries, and stories of various children as they recorded their vastly different experiences during the time of the Holocaust. The lessons highlighted Jewish life before the War, children in transition, various hiding experiences, life in the ghettos, and children’s rights.
Once the lesson plans were complete, the interns were able to actualize their ideas by teaching a group of thirty middle school students each lesson over a six week period. The students’ enthusiasm and excitement over their participation in these lessons was tremendous. The internship and our partnership with the Nofim Elementary School fostered an opportunity for double-sided learning. Our interns were able to teach a meaningful Holocaust education program to middle school students with a unique Holocaust narrative as children growing up in Israel, and our interns also gained extremely valuable knowledge on how to create and teach effective, responsible, and meaningful Holocaust education lessons to learners of different ages and backgrounds.
What is the purpose of entering the field of Holocaust studies? What can be done with a Master’s Degree in this field? Why is Holocaust studies and Holocaust education relevant today? The Weiss-Livnat International MA Program in Holocaust Studies understands that students who enter our degree program have hopes of leaving our program with the tools and knowledge necessary to accomplish various goals within all areas of Holocaust studies. We pride ourselves on the wide range of learning opportunities we provide our students that arms them with the skills necessary to embark on meaningful careers in all areas of this extremely important topic. We look forward to seeing what next year’s interns will produce!
A second blog dedicated to this internship will feature reflections from the interns who participated in this meaningful learning experience. Interested in Holocaust education, like and follow our blog to read more about the Holocaust education learning opportunities offered by the Weiss-Livnat International MA Program in Holocaust Studies!
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/