New Moreshet Program: The Holocaust for Arab History Teachers

Moreshet, Givat Haviva's Mordechai Anielevich Memorial Holocaust Study and Research Center has recently introduced a new program that establishes a Teachers' Kit about the Holocaust for Arab History Teachers.

"It is a necessity to remember that even after the Holocaust there can be life without hate and vengeance..." - Hayka Grossman 7.30.1980

The founders of Givat Haviva's Moreshet Center believed that tolerance, humane equality and acceptance of the other are the foundation for a healthy and stable society which can live in peace and prevent hatred, racism and violence.  This is why we find significant importance in the dialogue between Arab and Jewish Israelis.  We believe that a real, direct and sincere dialogue promotes partnership between Jews and Arabs and strengthens the Israeli democracy and society.  One of the ways to achieve these goals is to share with Arab citizens in Israel the Holocaust memory and its central role in Jewish society as a way to share and experience each others' historic narratives.

In order to expose Moreshet activities to Arab citizens, Moreshet has created a new curriculum tailored to cater to the Arab narrative. These adjustments include the following:

  1. Translation of the exhibitions to Arabic.
  2. Translation of study material of workshops and activities to Arabic.
  3. Opening a training course for history teachers from the Arab sector to guide their students in Moreshet exhibitions.
  4. Translate testimony films and purchase documentaries to Arabic.
  5. In-service training for school principles and history teachers, a collaboration with the PISGA center in the Arab town of Baqa El-Garbia.
  6. Preparing workshops and educational materials for teachers to effectively teach the material to their Arab students.
  7. Study days and seminars for school students in Moreshet.
  8. Study days in Arab sector schools conducted by Moreshet guides.

Most significantly, one of the innovative methods developed to involve Arab students in a productive dialogue about the Holocaust narrative is to use stories of Muslim families hiding, rescuing and saving Jews from the Gestapo and the concentration camps.  This method allows Israeli Arabs to become a part of the historic narrative in a positive way that frees them from inhibiting feelings of guilt and blame. 

The program began in July 2013 with a steering committee that featured representatives from the Arab community as well as experts in the field.  The team included a high school principal from the Arab community, two senior history teachers in the Arab community, an Arabic speaker and Poland Guide, and representatives from Moreshet.  The team conducted eight meetings within a three month period, with the purpose of building an outline for educational content.  In October several training seminars were held with a number of Arab history teachers participating in order to best prepare them for the curriculum.

In June the next phase began with a meeting with the Director of Arab education, Abdullah Khatib; a representative from the Arab Monitoring Centre in Haifa district, Orsan Aiadat; the Arab Education Superintendent for History, Dr. Qasim Darwashe; and the PISGA Center Manager and teacher from Babkah Algarbia, Mr. Rabah Kozel.  This team approved the content and assisted in its exposure to principals and history teachers in Arab schools.  In consultation with the Director of PISGA in Baka el Gharbia and the superintendent of history teaching in Arab education, Moreshet organized an exposure day in September, and the next round of training courses is currently underway.

The Teachers' Kit Includes:

  • Timeline: A historic time axis that can be re-used in the classroom, including 11 periods from 1919 to 1945 and associated maps and diagrams.
  • Booklet for Teachers
    • Optimized design of the booklet timeline, including maps and diagrams
    • Additions to timeline information, intended only for teaching purposes
    • Rich glossary
    • Activity proposals for classroom on the Nazi ideology and the Nuremberg Laws, including detailed appendixes
    • Methods summary including the use of stories of Muslim families hiding, saving and rescuing Jews from the Gestapo and concentration camps to bring Arab students into the Holocaust narrative
  • We Were There
    • CD with excerpts from the movie, "We Were There" which deals with a joint delegation (Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Druze) to Poland
This is only the first kit, Moreshet will continue to master and produce more kits for Arab teachers, as well as enlarging the capacity of the Teachers Training Seminars to deepen and expand their knowledge about WWII, the Holocaust and their role in this historic narrative.

To learn more about this Program, click here.
To learn more about Moreshet, click here.