High School Holocaust Education

In high school students engage in the academic study of the diversity of the Jewish experience during the Holocaust. The annual Yom HaShoah commemoration focuses on what we have lost as a community, with events of the day focused on commemoration and education. The student-led program features a memorial - or sacred marking of time, a vigil where the names of those who perished are read out loud, and an educational program. The program explores a different theme each year, with the ultimate goal of exposing students to the wide variety of stories and experiences of our people during the Holocaust. 

While all students participate in the annual Yom HaShoah observance, the primary focus of Holocaust study happens in 10th grade as part of the Modern Jewish History curriculum. Through their study of Jewish life in the modern age, students contextualize the Holocaust in a broader understanding of Jewish life in Europe from the time of settlement there. Students explore historical documents, memoirs, personal narratives, and listen to stories of survivors as they work to understand how the Holocaust happened and the impact it had on the development of Jewish identity and community in Europe and beyond.

Students further their understanding of the Holocaust and post-Holocaust Jewish identity as part of our World Jewry course and their study of Modern Israel and American Jewish History. In these courses, they study what followed the Holocaust and the rebuilding of Jewish life around the world. The Jewish Text curriculum, too, engages in study of the Holocaust through a variety of lenses - from the understanding of triage and issuance of work permissions in the ghettos; to the reading of The Sunflower and discussions of theodicy, post-Holocaust theology, and a review of teshuvot (Rabbinic responsa) issued during and in response to the Holocaust.