Monday, December 18, 2023

A new Anne Frank moment

David Bryfman, the CEO of the Jewish Education Project posted this on the Times of Israel Blogs last Wednesday. I believe his point is very important for Jewish educators and parents. Here are the first two paragraphs. I urge you to read the entire article at

A new Anne Frank moment

Jewish educators must teach our youth to be confident and competent in their Jewish selves and in how they relate to Israel

Behind closed doors, I used to refer to it as the “Anne Frank moment.” This is when a teacher in a public or independent school, usually in an English or Social Studies class, presents “The Diary of Anne Frank” to his or her students. Sometimes, the teacher might have given the parents and students a heads-up. Other times, students are caught off-guard for what may be their first encounter with the Holocaust.

But the “Anne Frank moment” that I mentioned was not the actual teaching of the diary in these schools. It is rather precisely at that moment when the Jewish kids in class, even the ones who have consciously not presented their Jewishness prior to this time, often have an awakening. Whether they wanted to be identified as Jewish is irrelevant; the combination of an internal spark, a presumptuous teacher question, or the sideway glance of an all-knowing classmate make that student feel like — and become known as — the “Jewish kid” in that classroom.

Continue reading at The Times of Israel

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