Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Orot Israel College Students Visit Yad Vashem

by Dr. Amnon Hever,
Department of Jewish History, Elkana Campus

As Holocaust studies play a major role at Orot Israel College, our first-year students recently participated in an intensive, full-day seminar at Yad Vashem.
As part of the seminar, which focused on the plight of the Jewish child during the Holocaust, the students toured the Holocaust History Museum, the “No Child's Play” exhibition, the Children’s Memorial, and the Center for Major Questions Arising from the Holocaust. Throughout the day, Orot's students were shown how to use objects, photographs, monuments, statues, memorial sites, exhibits, and art to teach about the Holocaust, and also how to respond to Holocaust-themed educational questions.
Over the past ten years, Orot Israel College has worked closely with Yad Vashem to develop appropriate programming for our students. What began as a single course for the history department has since expanded into a wide range of courses, which are open to the entire student body. Course topics include the history of the Holocaust, anti-Semitism, Nazism, religious Jews and the Holocaust, and rescue efforts. The courses are given by some of Yad Vashem’s top lecturers and incorporate documentary films, survivor testimonies, unique presentations, and other didactic materials produced by Yad Vashem.
In addition, Orot and Yad Vashem joined forces to design a unique practical course devoted to didactic techniques for Holocaust education, and last year, Orot offered a series of didactic workshops about Holocaust education. Each workshop was geared for a different academic department and served as part of the students’ practical training. Moreover, during the upcoming academic year, we hope to offer a general course that will concentrate on the Holocaust in Jewish thought.
Every course has proven to be very popular with the students, who made every effort to avoid missing even a single class.
Much of the credit goes to Mrs. Lea Roshkovsky, director of the Israeli Teachers Training Department at the International School for Holocaust Studies (ISHS), whose dedication, enthusiasm, and persistence made these programs so successful.
Special thanks also go to Uri Shalev of Yad Vashem. In his affable and serene way, he managed to transmit the legacy of the Holocaust to his students.

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