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.  

President Rivlin Addresses Israel Academy of Sciences: Arab-Jewish Tensions at Record Highs

Photo by Haim Tzach
On Sunday, October 19th, President Reuven Rivlin addressed the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities at a special conference on "From Xenophobia to Accepting the Other". Following expressions of hatred and violence that have taken place recently, the Academy decided to hold a conference to discuss and tackle this phenomenon.

In his address, the President referred to the tensions flaring between the various populations in Israel, and noted the verbal violence which he experienced recently: "The tension between Jews and Arabs within the State of Israel has risen to record heights, and the relationship between all parties has reached a new low. We have all witnessed the shocking sequence of incidents and violence taking place by both sides. The epidemic of violence is not limited to one sector or another, it permeates every area and doesn’t skip any arena. There is violence in soccer stadiums as well as in the academia. There is violence in the social media and in everyday discourse, in hospitals and in schools. I too have been exposed to verbal abuse every time I post something on my Facebook page which doesn’t sit well with one group of users or another. It is time to honestly admit that Israeli society is ill – and it is our duty to treat this disease."

The President continued his statement by saying: "To paraphrase Martin Buber's lecture, I do not ask, ‘Have we forgotten to be Jewish?’ But instead I ask, have we forgotten to be human? Have we forgotten how to speak? Have we abandoned the secret to conducting dialogue? It is my view that Israeli academia has a crucial role in reducing violence in Israeli society. The academic sphere, in which cultures and languages ​​are taught from a desire to get to know them deeper, where there is a ‘you and I’ affinity, there is a place which generates not only learning but also a real encounter. The Academy should be a space which prepares a new generation of Israeli citizens to talk to each other, and especially to learn how to listen to each other. At times like this, we need to learn how to talk, how to discuss, how to share without rejecting, and how to argue without reaching an agreement. The Academy cannot hide behind books and research. The Academy, as Plato founded it, is a place we learn a way of life."

During the event the President referred to grants he wished to provide doctoral students from humanities and social sciences, and said: "I do not have many ways to influence the path of the Academy, but at my request, the first President's Scholarships, will be granted to students in the humanities and social sciences, whose work describes an encounter between cultures, languages ​​and religions, with an emphasis on the significant encounter between East and West. I hope that through this tribute I can express my belief in the significant role of research in the humanities, as a basis for developing of a tolerant society."

Communicated by the President’s Spokesperson, Courtesy of