Holocaust Education And Remembrance - HEAR Projects Initiative
The YIZKOR project is embarking on an exciting new phase of integrated Holocaust educational and remembrance programming. Each of these projects are designed to engage middle and high school students with Holocaust survivor witness testimony in unique and dynamic ways. The VOICES FROM AUSCHWITZ - WHERE TRUTH SPEAKS is described below.
The "Voices" project combines the use of a Reader's Theatre format with multimedia content to lend an authentic and enduring voice to a generation that will soon be past. The project will deliver a powerful, true-to-history account of the 1963-1965 Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial that will be integrated with contemporary Visual History testimony. "Voices" is designed to provide students with an accessible and meaningful engagement with the Holocaust, History and witness accounts by Auschwitz camp survivors.
The YIZKOR project plans to develop and produce a PG-13 rated, 75-minute, English language adaptation of Peter Weiss' critically-acclaimed play "The Investigation," based on Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial transcripts which would be integrated with contemporary testimony from Auschwitz-Birkenau camp survivors. The YIZKOR project currently has a 30-minute script, which will be presented as part of Holocaust Remembrance Week.
The companion educational materials, including the adapted script for the docudrama, would also incorporate USC-Shoah Foundation Institute Visual History testimonies from a subset of survivors who also offered testimony at the 1963-1965 Frankfurt Auschwitz Trial. In addition, the project seeks to also provide educators and students with excerpted testimony from Holocaust survivors who currently (or previously lived) in their particular locale (city, state or country), beginning with Colorado. The objective is to develop regionally-specific "voices" content to further personalize the students' connection to the survivors and their life stories beyond the classroom.
Family Legacy Projects. The YIZKOR project's educational workshops are designed to serve as an adjunct to existing Holocaust education programs. Legacy projects place an emphasis on building Jewish identity and continuity with age-appropriate activities that strengthen each student's connection to Jewish life and family-past, present and future. While primarily school-based, projects can be implemented in the home, and through faith-based and community organizations.
Family Legacy Projects encourage students, ages 8 through high school, to explore, understand and gain a deeper appreciation of their Jewish family roots and history, and their connection to K'lal Yisroel, their greater Jewish family.
History Has A Name Workshop
The workshop focuses on seeing the six million Jewish victims of the Shoah as people, as individuals, as our fellow Jews. The workshop places a particular emphasis on the three million victims of Shoah whose names and stories are not yet recorded in Shoah Victims' Names Database as part of Yad Vashem's archives.
The multimedia program engages students through artifacts, diaries, poetry, artwork and witness testimonies, provided both by speakers (when available) and through video presentations.
The workshop culminates with the creation of Holocaust remembrance-themed, memorial candle holders for Yarzheit and Yizkor commemorations. The creative activity provides students with an opportunity to reflect and to construct meaning for themselves from the experience. Students can begin with any base shape for their project, but utilizing a hexagonally-shaped template, embedding a representation of both the six million Jewish victims of the Shoah as a whole, but also that of six individual lives adds additional meaning to the experience. In addition, the single hexagon structure can be formed into a larger tessellating structure to create a series of Jewish stars and reflecting our unity and eternal connection as a people to our past, present and future.
The creation of the plates not only personalizes the student's commemoration, but allows students to reflect and share their thoughts. Ideally, the memorial candle plates and the practice of lighting a candle will become part of Jewish family life for years to come.
The YIZKOR project has included content on both the Lost Communities as well as the Shoah Victims' Names Recovery Campaign. We hope those victims of the Shoah whose stories, families and names may already have been lost to Time are never forgotten. Special tribute memorial plates which honor these Lost Communities may be downloaded. Resources are also provided for students to create tribute plates to honor the Lost Communtities. Explore this workshop!
Shoah Victims' Names Recovery Campaign
As we remember the six million Jewish victims of the Shoah, we must always remember them as individuals, as men, women and children, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters, and as parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. To help raise awareness and support Shoah Victims' Names Recovery Campaign, the YIZKOR project includes activities and resources to help remember the millions of Jewish victims whose names and stories are not recorded in the archives.
The Lost Communities
For hundreds of years, Jewish life thrived throughout Eastern Europe, and in the span of a few years approximately 5,000 Jewish communities, towns, and shtetls were destroyed during the Nazi reign of terror. These communities are remembered in the "Valley of the Lost Communities" at Yad Vashem in Israel.
My Jewish Roots & Our Family Tree
These workshops provide students with an opportunity to explore both their own genealogical roots and the history of the Jewish community where they live. These activities represents the "Roots" portion, exploring both familial as well as communal ties, and provides insights and perspective in building Jewish identity and furthering Jewish continuity.
In addition to conducting research, interviews with family and recording genealogical information, students will be encouraged to incorporate family artifacts, historical documents and other legacy pieces in their class presentations.
"remembering those we lost, honoring those who survived ...."