Formation vs. Information: Trends in Holocaust Education in Israel

By Chaim Schatzker

World Zionist Organization (WZO), Summer 1978

This article offers a review of Holocaust education in Israel. In 1943, in the thick of World War II, before the fate of European Jewry had become known to the general public, an article - perhaps the first of its kind - was published by M. Avigdal entitled "Baayot Hinucheinu Bish'at Hashoah" (The Problem of our Education During the Holocaust), calling for an evaluation of events from an educational standpoint. The Jewish educational system realized, more as an outcome of emotional-intuitive distress than as yet from a clear-cut awareness, that it could not ignore the Holocaust. Yet, during the following 18 years, - during which the extent and results of the Holocaust were revealed educational literature failed to deal with the problem of teaching the Holocaust and the topic was hardly broached in educational discussions and debates held throughout the country. Perhaps this is because these were also the years which witnessed the immigration to Israel of Holocaust refugees and their absorption within the country; years of war and struggle for independence and the establishment of a new state. It was only in 1961-2, during the Eichmann trial, that we were witness to a wave of publications dealing with the Holocaust as a didactic-educational problem. Educators suddenly found themselves sharing in common the surprising discovery that the Israeli educational system had not fulfilled its duty in teaching the Holocaust, thus leaving the Israeli student unprepared for the confrontation with the problems and revelations raised by the trial.

Topic: Curriculum, History, Israeli Jews, Justice, Shoah, Communal Memory, Holocaust Education, Holocaust

Name of Publication: Forum: on the Jewish People, Zionism, and Israel

Page Number(s): 135-141

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Genre: Article

Coverage: Israel

Language: English

Copyright Holder: Publisher

Copyright Information: Download for personal use, freely distribute link

Bibliographic Information:
Schatzker, Chaim. Formation vs. Information: Trends in Holocaust Education in Israel. Forum: on the Jewish People, Zionism, and Israel. World Zionist Organization (WZO). Summer 1978: 135-141.


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