The Yishuv and the Shoah: 1943
The question of the position of the Yishuv (the Jewish settlement in pre-state Israel) and its actions in the face of the Shoah is a complex one, which has caused much bitter debate among historians.
Short Summary of Activity
This activity will deal with the information available to the Yishuv about the fate of the Jews in Europe in the first few months of 1943.
Students will work in pairs to evaluate a poster and a newspaper article with guiding questions on a worksheet and write a blog based on the information they learned from the resources.
This activity is appropriate for high school students.
History teachers could use this resource when discussing World War II, the Holocaust, anti-Semitism, and world reactions to the Holocaust. It could also be used by teachers of Jewish History when teaching about the Yishuv. In Citizenship classes, teachers could use it to discuss genocide prevention and awareness.
We recommend embedding the worksheet in the class blog.
Background Materials for Teachers
Did the World Remain Silent? Coursera: Tel Aviv University and Yad Vashem
The Yishuv and the Holocaust, Central Zionist Archives
The Yishuv, Yad Vashem
The Yishuv's Response to Hitler and the British, My Jewish Learning
A classroom with computers and a projector
Class blog with embedded worksheet
Introduce the question: What did the Yishuv know about the fate of European Jews in 1943?
In order to understand the context of World War II and the central events, present students with a timeline such as this one from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Stage 1: Analyse Primary Sources
Students work in pairs on the worksheet
Stage 2: Summary
Present a sample of the blog posts to the class and and review them together
Discuss the gap between information and knowledge in relation to the responses and behaviour of the Yishuv toward the fate of the Jews in Europe.
Stage 3: Optional Homework
Students write responses to three blog posts by other students (that were not presented in class).