Azrieli Graduate School publishes PRISM: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Holocaust Educators, with funding from the Rothman Foundation. Prism offers educators a practical, scholarly resource on teaching the Holocaust at the high school, college and graduate school levels.The first issue of this peer-reviewed journal was published in fall 2009. It is edited by Azrieli faculty member, Dr. Karen Shawn, visiting associate professor of Jewish education. Each issue examines a specific topic through a variety of lenses, including education, history, literature, poetry, psychology and art. Experts from high schools, colleges, universities, museums and resource centers in the United States and Israel bring diverse perspectives highlighting particular facets of the issue at hand. To obtain a hard copy of the journal, e-mail email@example.com.
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This issue, our 11th, offers history, art, an interview with the renowned Israel Gutman, and works from survivors, children of survivors, artists, photographers, and poets who have a personal story to tell, who captured our theme of “turning points” exactly by sharing instances of understanding, grief, confusion, shock, loss, or simply reflection on what Lawrence L. Langer has called moments of “optionless anguish” that would forever shadow the lives of those who experienced them. We also pay tribute to the historian David S. Wyman, a gentle scholar who passed away in 2018; and to the Israeli writer Nava Semel, who succumbed to cancer at the age of 63.
Welcome to our 10th-anniversary issue! We take this opportunity to thank our thousands of readers in over 40 countries and in every American state, especially those who graciously take the time to write appreciative notes to us and to send much-needed donations. This anniversary marks our second open-themed issue, so the offerings within are wide-ranging. They include memoirs, biographies, historical analyses, pedagogical essays, including one on Holocaust films; personal narratives, and, as always, wonderful poetry and stunning artwork.
The theme of this 9th issue is the end of innocence. We explore moments of knowing: When and how did Americans learn about the events in Europe? What happened when the Holocaust, or any particular aspect of it, became known to those directly affected by it? to those uninvolved who later became aware of the events—perhaps from word of mouth, perhaps from newspapers? What happens to a child of survivors whose inchoate knowing becomes adult understanding? to a member of the third generation who learns the truth about his heritage only as an adolescent? What happens today to a student unrelated to Jews whose innocence is ended by a history class, a piece of literature, or a film? Once one knows, what is the next step, and how does that step differ from person to person? How does such new knowledge inspire and affect university students who plan to become teachers?
Though the Holocaust is taught as a progression of events spanning 12 years, the Jews in its grip lived it as a sequence of moments. It is these moments—the unfolding of individual thoughts, reflections, feelings, conversations, and actions during the Holocaust and in its aftermath—that the photography, testimony, poetry, and short stories in this issue endeavor to capture. Each presents unique details of the Jewish experience that help students understand the Holocaust through the eyes of those who lived it.
In our 7th issue, we proudly feature the Viennese-based institute Centropa, the Central Europe Center for Research and Documentation, “where Jewish history has a name, a face, a story.” We highlight teachers’ classroom experiences using the extensive archive at centropa.org. Works by new contributors from around the world grace these pages, most notably from the Israeli writer Etgar Keret. Other highlights include a new focus on teaching about Kristallnacht from London’s Wiener Library; essays on graphic writing, cartoons, apps, and websites for high school and college classroom use; an essay, interspersed with the author’s original poetry, on the Sephardic experience; and an essay on using Nuremberg Trials documentary testimony-turned-poetry in the university classroom.
Here we present our first unthemed issue. It offers, as usual, historical research, pedagogy, literature, poetry, documentary photographs, and paintings—but on a variety of topics and themes that illustrate the particular passions and expertise of authors whose subjects may not warrant an entire journal but whose essays are too valuable to miss. We are particularly pleased to feature the art of Nancy Patz, and to share essays from teacher practitioners and professors, whose creative and passionate work highlights the necessity and value of providing a sound historical foundation as well as opportunities for student engagement and active learning in every classroom.
Our 2013 issue explores the Kindertransport and other attempts at large-scale rescue of Jewish children. Among the unique and classroom-ready pieces within are a Readers' Theater piece on the Kindertransport, along with the background on its original production in England; an introduction to the Centropa website, highlighting the story of Lily Tauber, a Kindertransport survivor; and narrative and poetic testimony from two Kinder saved by Nicholas Winton.
Examines the various ways in which Jews acted in response to the slow and systematic humiliation, separation, exclusion, deprivation, ghettoization, internment, slave labor, and, ultimately, the destruction of their communities and the deportation and murder of their friends and families. This issue examines the complexities involved in Jewish religious, spiritual, and physical resistance during the Holocaust and concludes that the question should not be why there was so little resistance but how there was so much.
Additional resources mentioned in various essays in Volume 4:
- Music and the Holocaust (see Introduction, p. 6)
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (see “The Mantello Rescue Mission,” p. 93)
- Memory Loops (see “‘I Shall Survive You All!’ An Instant of Grace Amidst Michaela Melian’s Memory Loops Memorial,” p. 132)
- Operation: Last Chance (see “Pursuing Perpetrators, Preserving History, and Educating the Next Generation: A Review of Efraim Zuroff’s Operation Last Chance, p. 137)
Examines relationships among family members during the Holocaust and in its aftermath.
Additional resources mentioned in various essays in Volume 3:
- USC Shoah Foundation; www.1939club.com/VideoTestimonyList.htm; and USC Shoah Foundation Videos By Topic (See “Using Archival Documents, Memoir, and Testimony to Teach About Jewish Families During and After the Holocaust,” pp. 63-64)
- Unites States Holocaust Memorial Museum: Propaganda Timeline; and Raffael Scheck's Colby Page (See “Auguststrasse 25, An Experiential Memorial: Teaching About Jewish Family Life in Pre-Holocaust Germany,” p. 121
- My Jewish Legacy
- Third-Generation Jews Fight To Keep Holocaust Memory Alive
- Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors Facebook page
- 3GNY Descendants of Holocaust Survivors Twitter account
- Student Holocaust Education Movement (SHEM) Facebook page
- MTV Act
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
- Yad Vashem: The World Holocaust Remembrance Center
- Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation
- Oral Histories: Wisconsin Survivors of the Holocaust
- Seton Hill University Holocaust Center (See “‘Of All Those Acts’: Learning From and Teaching the Third Generation,” pp. 135-140)
Looks at bystander behavior.
Additional resources mentioned in various essays in Volume 2:
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (see “Moving Our Students Along the Continuum of Benevolence,” p. 20)
- A Survivor's Story (see “What the Neighbors Knew,” p. 63)
- The Asch Experiment YouTube video (see “German Bystander Inaction During the Holocaust: Lessons Learned From Social Psychology and Teachable Moments for Today’s Students,” p. 83)
- Operation: Last Chance; Simon Wiesenthal Center; Targum Shlishi (see “Can a Holocaust Perpetrator Become a Bystander?” p. 116)
Explores the concept of trauma and resilience in children during the Holocaust, as well as the effects today of teaching and learning about it.
Additional resources mentioned in various essays in Volume 1:
- A Survivor's Story (see “My Mother, My Art: Reflections from a Child of a Survivor,” p. 33)
- Healing Story Alliance (see “Arts Education After Auschwitz: Students, Survivors, and Storytelling in the U.S. Premiere of ‘Witness Theater,’” p. 38)
- Remember: Camps
- Jewish Virtual Library: Concentration Camps
- The History of Auschwitz (All of these sites are found in “The Necessity of Darkness: The Pedagogic Imperative to Teach About the Death Camps,” p. 7)