This free website will help students of all backgrounds around the globe create a personal connection to history and discover the relevance to our world today.
Ivy Barsky, Deputy Director of the Museum said, “As Holocaust survivors age and leave us, we created this meaningful curriculum to keep their voices alive and to retain the power of their stories for young people coming of age today.”
The "Coming of Age" curriculum includes 13 unique stories to help students learn about the Holocaust through personal narratives. Students will hear directly from survivors through video testimony and will read about their lives before, during, and after the Holocaust.
One teacher who used an early version praised the site saying, “It personalizes the Holocaust. It is about six million individuals.”
Following each lesson, students learn about the historical context of each story through geography questions, online discussions with their peers, primary documents and artifacts, and timelines of the survivors’ lives. The students then create a timeline of their own and complete a research project.
Students will reflect on the challenges survivors faced in maintaining their identities, responsibilities they assumed during difficult circumstances, sacrifices they made for others, and lessons they want to impart to the next generation.
'Stories that will resonate with young people'By studying the lives of survivors, students will grow in their understanding of the Holocaust and themselves.
Allison Farber, museum educator for new media, said, “We designed this resource to complement existing Holocaust curricula with stories that will resonate with young people. We hope that it will challenge students to reflect thoughtfully on the Holocaust and the impact that it continues to have today. It is our hope that when they face intolerance, bullying, and injustice of any kind, they will recall the stories they explored in 'Coming of Age'.”
"Coming of Age" is designed to accommodate classes of students working as a group. Pairs of classes may work on the curriculum together. It may also be used by families educating their children at home or by other adults working with young people independently or in groups.
"Coming of Age" is aligned with the United States National Standards for World History and NCTE Standards for the English Language Arts for Middle and Secondary Schools, and can be used as part of bar/bat mitzvah preparation in the classroom or home.
"Coming of Age in the Holocaust — Coming of Age Now" is a project of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York in collaboration with Yad LaYeled – The Ghetto Fighters’ Holocaust and Jewish Resistance Heritage Museum in Israel, made possible by generous grants from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany: The Rabbi Israel Miller Fund for Shoah Research, Documentation and Education.
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