Take This Giant Leap

Posted by Dan Alba on June 22, 2017

"Take This Giant Leap" is the title of Reading 1 Chapter 9 in Facing History and Ourselves' newest 4th Edition of Holocaust and Human Behavior . These words are found in the Sonia Weitz poem entitled "For Yom Ha'Shoah" (Day of Holocaust Remembrance):

Come take this giant leap with me
into the other world...the other place
where language fails and imagery defies,
denies man's consciousness...and dies
upon the alter of insanity
 
Come, take this giant leap with me
into the other world...the other place
and trace the eclipse of humanity...
where children burned while mankind stood by
and the universe has yet to learn why
...has yet to learn why
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Topics: Holocaust and Human Behavior, Literature

Reclaiming the Identity of Youth Lost During the Holocaust

Posted by Mary Hendra on June 19, 2017

 

How do we understand and honor children's lives taken during the Holocaust? The Butterfly Project, founded in San Diego in 2006 and now reaching 20 states and 16 countries, seeks to involve young people in creating a ceramic butterfly for every child lost to the Holocaust. Over the past year, Facing History has been collaborating with them to deepen the experience of students in this powerful exploration and memorial to children.

Find out more about The Butterfly Project here www.thebutterflyprojectnow.org

See The Butterfly Project in action, paint your own butterfly, and find out how to bring the project to your classroom at our upcoming Forum in Los Angeles.

Register for Forum 

So what does it look like to put the focus on youth in your exploration of the Holocaust? The following path uses Facing History resources to deepen student appreciation for the meaning of painting a butterfly. This progression of lessons can be the basis for a middle or high school unit culminating in participation in The Butterfly Project.

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Topics: Art, Holocaust

Upstanders from 2017 LA Partnership Schools

Posted by Liz Vogel on June 6, 2017

Upstanders: those who do not simply stand by in the face of injustice, but understand that each one of us can make a difference

Each year, we invite our Los Angeles Partnership Schools to nominate an individual or group that has demonstrated the qualities of an Upstander in their school community. This year’s theme, Building Empathy, clearly resonated; many schools had difficulty choosing just *one* person or group to nominate! Together with The Allstate Foundation, Facing History is proud to recognize the effort and action of the following Upstanders in communities across Los Angeles.

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Topics: Upstanders, A View from the Classroom

Empathy is Vital

Posted by Liz Vogel on December 2, 2016

I recently sat down with comedian Sarah Silverman and LA Advisory Board member Jesse Stern. A few months ago, Sarah posted an image with Facing History's original resource book, Holocaust and Human Behavior, calling it one of three books that has most shaped her life.

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Topics: Upstanders, Holocaust and Human Behavior, Empathy, Alumni

Giving Back to Facing History and Ourselves

Posted by Liz Vogel on November 28, 2016

I met Suzanne Ellis Wernevi on our first day of freshman year in college. We lived on the same hallway, became fast friends, and have shared countless adventures over the last two decades.

Suzanne is also a Facing History alumna, and I credit her with bringing me to Facing History over 15 years ago. As I considered my first job with Facing History, a tiny nonprofit I’d never heard of, it was Suzanne’s instant endorsement that sealed the deal.

Today, Suzanne owns a jewelry business, Luna & Stella, in Providence, Rhode Island, and she has chosen to support Facing History in two ways:

On #GivingTuesday, November 29th, Luna & Stella will donate 20% of all sales to Facing History.

Then, through December 31st, use the code FACINGHISTORY and Luna & Stella will donate 20% of your purchase price to Facing History. This way each customer knows exactly how much will be donated.

 

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Topics: Community, Empathy, Alumni

Facing Ourselves is Not Easy

Posted by Liz Vogel on November 11, 2016


The first days after the election have over-delivered on what I feared most: an open platform for bigotry, hate and violence.
 
White students in schools chanting "Build the wall,'" "White power," and "Heil Hitler."
White students formed a 'wall' to block Latino students from entering school.
Rainbow flags burned.
Confederate flags raised.
Muslim girls and women attacked on the subway, on the street, in stores and in school.
 
 
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The Compassion Cap

Posted by Stephanie Carrillo on October 24, 2016

Right around the time the Syrian refugee crisis was at the height of its media coverage in the U.S., I noticed a familiar kind of backlash on my newsfeed. Amidst the photos showing desperate throngs of people escaping with only their lives, between the articles imploring me to donate or explaining how I could help Syrian refugees, I saw another kind of plea. "Don't Let Them In."

I wasn't surprised by the politicians who were quick to go on record, justifying all the reasons the U.S. could not or should not extend offers of asylum, however I was a bit taken aback by the similarly swift response by several of my friends on social media. Suddenly memes were appearing on my feed, with messages such as "No Syrian Refugees Until ALL of Our Veterans are Off the Street. Hit 'LIKE/SHARE' if You Agree!" In no time at all, I was reminded by multiple people of the pressing issues that "should" take precedence over the refugee crisis. Homelessness, unemployment, the war on terror-- all of these were suggested as reasons why a person was simply unable to care about the thousands of uprooted families fleeing violence. This really made me wonder, is there a "Compassion Cap"? Does showing concern for one issue leave a person unable to care about another matter? Is our “Universe of Obligation” a series of tightly drawn circles or an expansive space that includes all of humanity?

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Topics: News, Universe of Obligation, Empathy

Hope on Days with a Heavy Heart

Posted by Guest Blogger on October 4, 2016

“Intersectionality.

Who am I?

Does it really matter?

 That goes from…

            Ethnicity

            Ability

Age

Race

Gender. Sexuality.

And we can go on and on and on.”

This project was the brainchild of 7 educators across five content areas. What better way to end the school year than with a Civil Rights Spoken Word Showcase?

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Topics: Art, Spoken Word, Racism

Exploring Empathy, Homelessness in Los Angeles

Posted by Mary Hendra on September 26, 2016

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Topics: Film, Los Angeles, Community, Empathy

Start Somewhere

Posted by Liz Vogel on September 22, 2016

Last night, I lay awake replaying the day's headlines in my mind; in particular the news of fatal shootings of black men by police in both Tulsa, OK and Charlotte, NC. The kids were asleep, and my partner, who is black, was on his way home from his weekly basketball game. He was later than usual, and I slipped into a momentary panic, wondering if something was wrong. Was he pulled over while driving home? His tail light went out a while ago; did he ever get that fixed? Are his windows tinted too dark? Was he speeding to get home a little faster? I reminded myself that we live in LA, as if that could reassure me. But I recalled Ezell Ford, Donnell Thompson, and Brandon Glenn, just to name a few black men killed by police in Los Angeles in the last year. 
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Topics: Human Behavior, Racism, Parents

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This blog helps Southern California teachers connect directly with each other, share ideas, and learn about new resources and opportunities for those interested in or already implementing Facing History.

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