Jewish Education Program

Since 1990, our Jewish Education Program has worked with educators and young people to connect the past to the present. Through the integration of history and ethics, this program promotes an understanding of how Jewish values can inspire students to combat prejudice with compassion and indifference with participation.

Building on the internationally recognized strategies and resources of Facing History and Ourselves, the program uses materials and pedagogy developed specifically for Jewish educational settings that honor the principles of social justice and repairing the world.

Directed by Jan Darsa, co-author of Facing History and Ourselves: The Jews of Poland and a 2010 winner of the Covenant Award, the Jewish Education Program has reached over 1,500 educators and more than 75,000 students in day and congregational schools in both formal and informal settings through workshops, seminars, and resources.

 

Sacred Texts, Modern Questions - New

Webinar: Sacred Texts 

Explore our recently recorded webinar on how to use this unique resource in classrooms.

Initiatives

The Jewish Day Schools Partnership
Begun in 2009, this model partnership infuses Facing History’s content and pedagogy throughout the curriculum in day schools across the United States. Evaluations show impact on whole-school culture in areas such as civic responsibility among students and cross-disciplinary work among teachers.

Peoplehood Project
Since 2009, the Jewish Education Program has facilitated visits between Jewish educators from North America and Israel. By traveling to each other’s countries, teachers and administrators are able to study membership, identity, community, and pluralism through the lens of Jewish peoplehood.

Professional Development
Facing History’s Jewish Education Program offers workshops, seminars, resources, and professional coaching to teachers and school communities. We work in formal and informal educational settings throughout the United States and internationally.

Contact Our Program Staff

Jan Darsa
Director of Jewish Education Program
617-735-1613
jan_darsa@facing.org

Amanda Hadad
Project Manager
617-735-1685
amanda_hadad@facing.org

Shira Deener
Senior Program Associate
617-735-1608
shira_deener@facing.org 

Tzipora Weinberg
Program Associate, New York
tzipora_weinberg@facing.org

Emily Weisberg
Program Associate, Los Angeles
213-202-2811 x227
emily_weisberg@facing.org

Publications

Sacred Texts, Modern Questions: Connecting Ethics and History Through a Jewish Lens
The Jewish Education Program’s newest resource, published in 2012, is a series of innovative text-based lessons that integrate Jewish ethics and values into the study of humanities.
 
Facing History and Ourselves: The Jews of Poland
This resource book was published in 1998 to complement Facing History’s many resources, giving a focus to Jewish identity, life before World War II, Jewish resistance during the Holocaust, and the legacy of contemporary history on the Jewish community today.

Holocaust and Human Behavior
Our core work combines an interdisciplinary approach to citizenship education with readings and activities that explore consequences of discrimination, racism, and antisemitism.

A Convenient Hatred: The History of Antisemitism
An approachable, well-researched narrative of one of the world’s oldest consistent hatreds and its implications for the moral choices we make.

Lessons and Resources

Article by Jan Darsa and Martin E. Sleeper
Read "Where Ethics Meets History: A Synthesis of Values, Sacred Texts, and the Humanities," in Growing Jewish Minds, Growing Jewish Souls: Promoting Spiritual, Social, and Emotional Growth in Jewish Education, ed. Jeffrey S. Kress (New York: URJ Press, 2013).

Webinar: Sacred Texts 
Explore our recently recorded webinar on how to use this unique resource in classrooms. 

The Web of Community: Jewish Life Before the War
What was life like for Jews living in Poland and Eastern Europe before the Holocaust?
 
Judgment and Traditional Jewish Texts: The Sunflower
Explore judgment and forgiveness through the study of Simon Wiesenthal's The Sunflower and traditional Jewish texts.
 
Blessed is the Match Study Guide
At a time when much of the world turned a blind eye toward the Holocaust, Hannah Senesh could not stand idly by. Classroom activities help students as they consider the legacy of Hannah Senesh's heroic life. 
 
And many more units, lessons, and study guides.


More Jewish Education Resources

Praise for Our Program

"This seminar has had a tremendous effect, far more encompassing than the content and subject of Holocaust. The ideas of the individual and acting humanely in our society have been infused throughout, and that’s what I walk away with. "  -Teacher, 2012 summer seminar

“I can honestly say I have never attended a better professional development session. I am leaving here a better
educator and person, and I can’t wait to see the impact Facing History and Ourselves will have on my community.”
  - Participant, seminar for educators in Jewish settings, July 2012

“Students learn to think, question, and react to the
events of the past in order to ensure a better future for
society.”  -Teacher, Jewish day school