Identity and Pedagogy: Shoah Education in Israeli State Schools

Identity and Pedagogy: Shoah Education in Israeli State Schools


Erik H. Cohen

Series: Jewish Identities in Post-Modern Society
ISBN: 9781936235810 (hardcover)
Pages: 230 pp.
Publication Date: July 2013

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This pedagogical and sociological analysis of Shoah (Holocaust) education in Israeli state schools is based on an empirical survey conducted in 2007-2009 among junior high school and high school students, teachers and principals in general and religious schools, and experts in the field. It explores issues such as materials and methods, beliefs and attitudes, messages imparted, pedagogical challenges, and implications for national and religious identity and universal values. Comparative and multi-dimensional analyses of sub-populations, such as by age and type of school, were conducted. The practical and theoretical implications of the findings are considered in the context of Shoah education in Israel and other educational settings over the past half century.

Erik H. Cohen  (PhD University of Paris X-Nanterre), is an associate professor at the School of Education at Bar-Ilan University in Israel and at several local colleges. He is the director of Research & Evaluation, an independent group of researchers which has conducted numerous international studies, and is a member of the Facet Theory Association and served as its secretary for two years (2001-3). He is the author of half a dozen books in English, French, and Hebrew, and has been widely published in refereed academic journals and edited books on the topics of Jewish identity, education, tourism, methodology, and other related subjects. He serves on a number of scientific committees and as a consulting editor for two journals and has launched the International Journal of Jewish Education Research (IJJER) as co-editor.

Erik Cohen’s important volume becomes increasingly pertinent as we face the challenges of teaching the Holocaust to new generations. With the publication of Identity and Pedagogy, his conclusions regarding the phenomenon of Holocaust education, both in Israel and other countries, will inform a wider audience, helping them both meet and overcome those challenges.
— Avner Shalev, Chairmen of the Directorate, Yad Vashem
A visit at Auschwitz shall not be understood solely in the categories of remembrance and education. This is a contemporary rite of passage. This is the time when a man has to ask oneself a difficult question on their own responsibility for the shape of our world. The book constitutes the most complete analysis of the process of introducing and the outcomes of education programs about the Shoah.
— Piotr M. A. Cywinski, Director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum

Table of Contents

John S. Ruskay

Editors’ Note
Menachem Revivi and Ezra Kopelowitz
Introduction: Four Questions Concerning Peoplehood — And Just as Many Answers
Arnold Eisen
The Problem of Jewish Peoplehood
Michael Rosenak
The Anomalies of Jewish Political Identity
Michael Walzer
On Modern Jewish Identities
Moshe Halbertal
The Jewish People and the Israeli Nation
Shmuel Trigano
Jewish Sectarianism and Jewish Peoplehood
Ami Bouganim
A Sociologist’s Guide for Building Jewish Peoplehood
Ezra Kopelowitz
A New Understanding of Peoplehood: The Jewish Conversation
Laura Geller
Against the Cultural Grain: Jewish Peoplehood for the 21st Century
Riv-Ellen Prell
Jewish Literary Manifesto (in First Person Feminine)
Michal Govrin
Your People Shall Be My People. Notes on Nurturing Jewish Peoplehood
Yonatan Ariel
Alan Hoffmann

Author Biographies