Echoes and Reflections Today
Welcome to Echoes and Reflections Today, a quarterly e-newsletter to keep educators informed about new materials and new ideas for use with Echoes and Reflections.
In a ceremony held each year on Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day, Yad Vashem recites the names of Holocaust survivors in an effort to remember each one of them as individuals with unique experiences and stories. While we strive to remember the individual on Yom Hashoah, this day also provides an opportunity to consider contemporary forms of antisemitism, prejudice, and hate, and reflect on personal responsibility.
Visual history testimony from Leo Bach, Jan Karski, and Joseph Berger in Lesson 10: The Children, and Rena Finder's testimony available on IWitness, convey important messages. Listening to and discussing these testimonies with students provides an opportunity for them to examine their own narratives and to consider positive actions that they can take in their own schools and communities.
Share the testimonies identified below with your students on Yom Hashoah and discuss the implications of being a bystander and the powerful change that is possible from standing up and taking action.
*Access the below testimonies on the DVD of Visual History Testimony in Lesson 10: The Children or on IWitness.
Leo Bach, Jewish Survivor
"My legacy and my responsibility to humanity as a survivor is this: that humanity must endeavor in some way to see that those things will never happen again anywhere in the world."
|Leo Bach shares what he sees as his legacy and responsibility to humanity in this clip of testimony. What do you see as your responsibility to your school, your community, and to society?|
Jan Karski, Rescuer and Aid Provider
"Great crimes start with little things... Avoid disliking people. Try to cooperate, don't make distinctions... Humanity is making progress."
|Jan Karski cites specific examples of things people should try not to do -- things that lead to a breakdown in society. How did you feel listening to his advice? What are the challenges, if any, to putting his advice into action?|
Joseph Berger, Jewish Survivor
"The more people that know about this the more people will be on guard"
|What message does Joseph Berger want to convey to those who hear his testimony? What are your thoughts about his message?|
Rena Finder, Jewish Survivor
"I feel very strongly that we must again and again and again tell our story so that it will never be forgotten, so it cannot happen again. I feel very strongly when I speak in schools to make a point that every one of us can make a difference."
|Rena Finder provides a challenge for each of us to "make a difference." How do you try to "make a difference" in your school and community? What are the obstacles? What are the opportunities?|
|*Search for "Rena Finder" on IWitness and access clip #36|
About Yom Hashoah
Yom Hashoah -- Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day -- is observed each year on the 27th day of the Hebrew month of Nissan and coincides with the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. On April 19, 1943, members of the Jewish underground in Warsaw, equipped with smuggled weapons, began attacking the German forces who occupied the Warsaw ghetto. This revolt, the first uprising in an occupied city in Europe during the war, lasted 27 days and inspired further acts of resistance during the remainder of the war.
Yom Hashoah was established in Israel but other countries and communities have adopted this day of remembrance as a memorial for the victims of the Holocaust. This year, Yom Hashoah will be commemorated on April 8th.