It is a strange experience to read oneself and not agree anymore with all that was written. That is the case with the following Shoah education article; I now believe it is just a bad idea to teach the under 11 year olds about Shoah, unless there is a direct family connection.
Here is the original, which was written years ago.
Earlier is not necessarily better when teaching about the Shoah
YOSEF I. ABRAMOWITZ
Jewish Family & Life!
NEWTON, Mass. — My children attend a wonderful preschool, where Jewish values and holidays are lived and learned in creative ways. Yet my daughter Aliza’s class commemorated Holocaust Memorial Day.
This is a bad idea. Read more
Thanks for the questions that have come in. I am in favor of Holocaust education in public schools, whether it is Jews or non-Jews learning there, especially when it is taught with a call to action in today’s world.
I am against Holocaust education in Jewish congregational schools and reluctant to have it in day schools, except in direct relationship to Yom Hashoah commemoration and only in age appropriate ways. Most Jewish kids attend congregational schools only several hours a week and we don’t have enough time to fill their souls with the joys and values of the Jewish people. Of course we have to be sensitive to the issue and to survivors and also honor the memory of those we lost.
But Elie Wiesel said it best: “When no one spoke of the Shoah, it was my responsibility to speak about it. Now that every0ne is speaking about it, I don’t have to.” This should not be taken out of context; it is to turn the Jews of Silence into the Jews of Substance, Jewish substance. Shabbat shalom, Yossi
PS for that transcipt of my comments to yad vashem CEO, click here.
This originally appeared in the LA Jewish Journal around 1997, way before everyone caught up with the Kabbalah thing and our friend Esther. Madonna read the article, loved it and gave an interview to an Israeli paper about it. Note that her most recent tour’s theme is “reinvent yourself.” My friend Dave, a playwrite, was reading the Independent newspaper in the UK and saw an article where Madonna quoted me. Hmmmm. Here’s the original.
Chag Sameyach, Yossi
MADONNA, MOTHERHOOD AND JUDAISM
Is it possible that I saw you at Sinai? The Jewish mystical tradition, which you have been exploring, teaches that the souls of all Jews for all generations – including converts to Judaism – stood at Mount Sinai when our covenant with God was affirmed. Could the Jewish soul of Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone be trapped in the body of a rebellious Catholic?
Inside my Madonna file is a collection of little-known Jewish facts. Read more