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You will return home from the Summer Academy with an expanded knowledge base and a wide range of teaching tools, gained through challenging and stimulating workshops, films and tours.

Here's an overview of what you'll be learning and why these topics are important to you and to your students.

The Sephardic line (MANDATORY)

Expelled from Spain in 1492, 200,000 Jews settled in Ottoman lands. By and large, they got along with their neighbors, until WW 2, when most were murdered. Who were the Sephardim? How can you use their stories to bring to life history and moral courage?

The changing identities line (ELECTIVE)

1. You begin life as a Hasidic Jew. Borders change and your city is now in the USSR. You become an atheist. Communism falls and you turn back to Judaism. 2. You love your country, but you flee twice, first from the Nazis, then the Communists. Changing borders changed identities in the 20th century - to understand how is to understand 20th century European history. 

The German line (MANDATORY)

They had risen to dizzying heights. They led the world in science, music, art and industry. 525,000 Jews lived in Germany in 1933; by 1945 there were but a handful left. What had their lives been like before? Where did they flee to? Who came back and what are their lives like now? These are the uneasy questions—and answers-- we will delve into—on film, in person, in eBooks.

The Soviet Union line (ELECTIVE)

Stories worthy of a Russian novel! Haya-Lea Detinko, a Zionist club member, was swept up into Stalin’s Gulag, while her parents were murdered by the Nazis. Arnold Fabrikant was a soldier who fought  all the way to Berlin. Our new reader, The Jewish Soldiers’ Red Star, gives you 21 powerful stories of front line Russian Jewish soldiers.

Poland and the shtetls line (MANDATORY)

Most of us—no matter where we live or what we teach—do not expose our students to the complexities of Polish Jewish life before its destruction. There was greatness here; it belongs to all of us. This summer, we have films to watch, ideas to discuss, and an active group of Polish high school teachers and museum educators who want to connect with you and your students.

Kindertransport line (ELECTIVE)

This November marks the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht; one month later, in December 1938, a rescue mission started that brought 10,000 Jewish children to England until September 1939. Two Centropa films and a reader bring your students stories they'll never forget.

The Civil Society line (MANDATORY)

When governments fail, people act. What compels someone to stand up to hate? To say no to authority? To be willing to be ostracized by your peers?  We will discuss Eyal Press’ brilliant book Beautiful Souls, and through that prism, we will look at Sarajevo, 1992-1995, when Holocaust survivors worked with their non-Jewish neighbors and created a humanitarian aid agency.

The video & digital story telling line (ELECTIVE)

Throughout our network, students are making videos on their towns’ Jewish histories and sharing them with each other. In Berlin, we’re forming a team to make a video of our summer academy. Thanks to our experienced veterans and our printable video making guide you’ll be better equipped to help your students create great video stories.