Holocaust Studies for Disadvantaged High School Students

The Holocaust has been instrumental in shaping modern Jewish and Israeli identity. Our extensive work in this area over the last decade has shown the concrete link between Shoah studies and the deepening of a positive Jewish identity. The lengthy process of internalizing the Holocaust in the Israeli consciousness has pushed the topic beyond the narrow confines of historical study, transforming it into a central concern on the daily agenda of Israeli public affairs.

However, not all Israeli youth are included in this formative process; youth from disadvantaged backgrounds, on the periphery of society, receive only the compulsory Holocaust history units and in most cases are not afforded opportunities to visit Yad Vashem or participate in extracurricular Holocaust education programs. Thus, these youth are deprived of a unique educational experience that can contribute to a feeling of belonging and commitment to Israel, the Jewish People and its heritage.

Yad Vashem believes that it is its responsibility to ensure that these young people are afforded their right to learn of their heritage and to feel part of the unique nation of the People of Israel. The David and Fela Shapell Family Shoah and Heroism Study Center for Youth was established in 2006 to assist Yad Vashem in achieving this goal. Yad Vashem is currently seeking additional partners to work together on this vital program.

Yad Vashem has developed a customized seminar, specifically designed for high school students, which compliments the compulsory Holocaust history units studied at school. This seminar also endeavors to engender within the students a desire to continue learning about the Holocaust.

It costs $552 support one seminar for one class of 35 students. We are currently seeking partners to give disadvantaged students the opportunity to attend a seminar at Yad Vashem.