Hiding and Seeking: Faith and Tolerance After the Holocaust

Jewish Education


The film Hiding and Seeking: Faith and Tolerance After the Holocaust tells the story of a Jewish father who tries to alert his adult sons to the dangers posed by defenders of the faith who preach intolerance of the "other" and who feel compelled to create impenetrable barriers between "us" and "them."

To broaden their views he takes them on a highly charged emotional journey to Poland. To his sons, like many offspring of Polish Holocaust survivors, this is a country that will always be associated with anti-Semitism. It is here that he introduces his sons to Poles who personify the highest levels of exemplary behavior.

The highlight of their journey comes when they track down the Polish farm family who risked their lives to hide the sons' grandfather for more than two years during the Holocaust. This encounter and its aftermath lead the sons to at least consider their father's viewpoint more seriously.

In the course of telling its compelling and dramatic story, Hiding and Seeking explores the Holocaust's effect on faith in God as well as its impact on faith in our fellow human beings. Filmed in Jerusalem, Brooklyn, and Poland, the film focuses on the filmmaker's attempt to heal the wounds of the past by stopping the transmission of hatred from generation to generation.

If viewing the film during class, we suggest breaking it into three sections organized by theme.

Film Viewing Segments:

  • Segment 1- Menachem's Challenge: Minute 0- 32:20
  • Segment 2- Journey through Poland: Minute 32:20- 67:27
  • Segment 3- Reconciling With the Past: Minute 67:27- End

Each of these lessons is designed for a single class period (depending on your school schedule) that includes viewing the whole segment, reflection and teaching strategies.


Lesson 1 of 2

Menachem's Challenge

Students view a documentary film about an Orthodox Jewish father and his sons' journey through Poland and reflect on how each character is shaped by religion and worldview.

Lesson 2 of 2

Reconciling with the Past

After viewing the final segment of a documentary film about an Orthodox Jewish father and his sons, students reflect on the connection between family and values.

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