There is no one correct way to educate about the Shoah, indeed there are a number of good ways, but there are also many undesirable, or counter-productive ways which - apart from being ineffective educationally - are potentially damaging to young people. Here are some guidelines which may help you in the preparation of programmes about this subject.

- Activities designed to disturb or frighten are dangerous and should on no account be used. There is no educational justification for the all-too-often done programme which relies solely on heavily emotionally charged techniques aimed at inducing tears. This sort of programme is anti-educational and it can often lead to Chanichim resisting learning about the Shoah. This does not mean that you cannot use disturbing material, but it must be handled sensitively, with the aim of educating and encouraging understanding.

- A balance should be struck between cognitive and emotional education. Chanichim should be encouraged to respond emotionally to the material, but the response should be based on a cognitive process where the group go through a creative learning experience. Emotional responses will subsequently acquire far greater significance.

- Madrichim must themselves be educated about the subject. Unlike some other activities, these require the educator t6 have a certain amount of knowledge. The article in this booklet is only the minimum necessary reading and more is definitely desirable. It is always possible to invite an expert to be involved in your activities, either working with the Madrichim, or directly with the group.

- The Shoah is not a subject suited to simulation games and therefore these should be avoided. It is not possible for us to "imagine" what it was like in the Ghetto and we should not make Chanichim try. The one simulation game described above is set in Poland before the Shoah. Furthermore, it might be that - way in the future simulation games on the Shoah will not be seen as tasteless, but today they are and so they should be avoided.

- Young people have a tendency to be curious and ask questions which Madrichim might find gory, sick or gruesome.

- You should not be disturbed or angry at. these questions as they are only natural curiosity. Rather, take care to answer them tactfully or help the Chanich/a find the answer elsewhere.

Finally
Do not be put off by the above. There is a lot that can be done with this subject that is creative, dynamic and sensitive. We merely feel that these guidelines are necessary to ensure responsible educational programming.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share              PRINT   
13 Sep 2005 / 9 Elul 5765 0