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Kristallnacht Remembered    
Eigth Grade Integrated Art and Judaics Project


Isabella Furst, Judaic Studies, 8th Grade

Kristallnacht Remembered

Elie Wiesel once said: “Memory has become a sacred duty of all people of good will. For the dead and the living, we must bear witness. “In Donna Klein, the eighth grade learns an intensive unit of the Holocaust. This year the eighth graders are creating an art project that is a model of Kristallnacht.

On November 7,1938, Herschel Grynszpan walked into the German Embassy in Paris and shot Ernst Von Rath the Third Secretary. Herschel was angry about the anti-Semitism towards Polish Jews. Germans were being told to “rise in bloody vengeance against the Jews.” The next day it began. From November 9th to the 10th, “The Night of Broken Glass” occurred. Jewish homes, stores, schools businesses and synagogues were torched and vandalized. Rioters destroyed 267 synagogues throughout Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia. The event caused close to one hundred deaths and in the aftermath, thirty thousand Jewish men were arrested and taken captive in concentration camps. Prior to Kristallnacht, anti-Semitism was nonviolent, but soon the violence became extreme and led to millions of deaths.

Previously mentioned, in honor of this event and the holocaust itself, the eighth graders created a visual representation of what occurred on Kristallnacht. The students began by bringing in black boxes which were arranged to form what the apartment buildings may have looked like during Kristallnacht. We have learned many historical facts from this event. Students worked on this project during their Judaic classes. They enjoyed working on the project while putting in a lot of time and effort.

Art and Judaic Collaborative Project

While studying an eight week long intense and integrated holocaust unit, students were empowered to explore the devastation which occurred on November 9th and 10th, 1938, in Germany. Kristallnacht – The Night of Broken Glass. Using survivors’ testimony’s and lessons in Judaics, history and art classes, students explored the history, significance and devastation of Kristallnacht.

Our aim at Donna Klein Jewish Academy is to make Jewish Studies and prayer inspiring, engaging, educational and interactive. We are committed t teaching our students to have a deep personal connection to Judaism. Being a community day school is a blessing in that we have students from every background. We educate our students to feel comfortable practicing Judaism whether they are in a Reform, Conservative or Orthodox synagogue.

For the last two years, through the support of the TIArts Cohort, we have worked with a group of DKJA Jewish studies and art teachers to integrate the Visual Arts into Judaic studies. The TI Arts Cohort is led by High school Art teacher Anita Schwartz and her team: Eilat Asseo (HS Judaics), Iris Dahoah (MS Hebrew) and Anat Jatwes (LS Judaics.)

The Jewish studies eigth grade class assignment was led by teacher Shelley Katz. Middle school art teacher Carol Routman and her volunteers helped eighth grade students complete the project.

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