Holocaust Studies

  • The Holocaust was a watershed event in the history of humanity, the systematic, planned annihilation of European Jews and other groups by Nazi Germany, during the years 1933-1945.

    The history of the Holocaust must be taught in a manner that leads to an investigation of human behavior, an understanding of the ramifications of prejudice, racism, and stereotyping, and an examination of what it means to be a responsible and respectful person.

    This important educational effort is for the purposes of encouraging tolerance of diversity in a pluralistic society and for nurturing and protecting democratic values and institutions.

    Teaching about the Holocaust is a way for students to think about the use and abuse of power and the roles and responsibilities of individuals, organizations, and nations when confronted with human rights violations. It helps students develop an understanding of the ramifications of prejudice, racism, antisemitism, and stereotyping in any society.

    Studying the Holocaust provides a context for exploring the dangers of remaining silent and indifferent in the face of the oppression of others. As students gain insight into the many historical, social, religious, political, and economic factors that cumulatively resulted in the Holocaust, they gain awareness of the complexity of the historical process and a perspective on how a convergence of factors can contribute to the disintegration of democratic values.

    We are fortunate to live in a community that still has Holocaust Survivors to provide a firsthand account of the history of the Holocaust. Whenever possible, we provide students the opportunity to learn directly from those Survivors, and to take inspiration from their resilience and courage.