On Holocaust Remembrance Day we remember and honor the nearly six million Jewish people who lost their lives during the Holocaust. This year will mark 76 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, which claimed the lives of one million Jews. While remembering the Holocaust may be difficult for many, recognizing and understanding the genocide of millions of European Jews not only honors all of those who fell victim to Nazism but also ensures that future generations can learn from the mistakes of our past and choose to pursue allyship and inclusivity.

If you’re looking to honor Holocaust Remembrance Day in your classroom this year, EVERFI has Holocaust lesson plans and resources available to help you start the conversation. With lessons on the history of the Holocaust to strategies to navigate and stand up again antisemitism in the 21st century, EVERFI’s resources are a helpful addition to lesson plans on the Holocaust and diversity.

It’s important to note that many of these topics can be difficult to think about and maybe especially sensitive and personal to some. Be sure to look out for your students when introducing any of these resources into your lesson plans.

Digital Holocaust Lesson Plans from EVERFI: BINAH (Building Insights to Navigate Antisemitism & Hate)

If you’re looking for a meaningful way to discuss the Holocaust and honor Holocaust Remberance Day with your students, EVERFI’s BINAH: Building Insights to Navigate Antisemitism & Hate provides a useful introduction to the Holocaust and the impacts of antisemitism. Intended for high school students, BINAH brings students through the history of antisemitism and its impact on Jewish people in the U.S. The course also empowers students to stand up against antisemitism in their own communities.

BINAH’s first lesson introduces students to Jewish people and defines antisemitism and other forms of oppression. Consider using this lesson to start the conversation by asking your students what they know about antisemitism and the Holocaust as a helpful way to determine the areas to emphasize in your lesson plan. Some questions to start the conversation include:

  • What is antisemitism?
  • What do you know about the Holocaust?
  • How does antisemitism relate to other forms of oppression?

After getting a feel for your students’ knowledge level, feel free to pick and choose other lesson plans in BINAH to further the conversation with your students. For example, the second lesson The Early Story focuses largely on the history of antisemitism and how it’s evolved and persisted over time, exploring instances of American antisemitism in the 20th century. In the fourth lesson Impact of Antisemitism, students apply their prior knowledge about the Jewish community to identify common stereotypes and understand the importance of language. They also hear people’s personal accounts of antisemitism.

BINAH is a really helpful resource because depending on your students’ knowledge and needs, you can pick and choose different lessons to incorporate into your classroom. You can even consider using questions from the end of each lesson plan to quiz your students, or you can use the accompanying Discussion Guide, discussed next.

The BINAH Holocaust Lesson Plan Discussion Guide

EVERFI offers discussion guides to accompany the BINAH digital course and encourage further dialogue amongst students. Consider using the extension guide after you and your students have gone through the digital courses of your choice. This particular discussion guide covers general themes from the course and includes questions to encourage students to think beyond the course and apply what they’ve learned. You can also use this guide as a reflection.

Some helpful questions from the extension discussion guide include:

  • Have you ever been discriminated against because of a part of your identity? How did that feel? How did it impact your actions?
  • Can you think of any modern-day versions of cultural targeting? What does it look like and who is targeted today?
  • What do you think leads a person to commit a hate crime?

BINAH Capstone Project: Putting Knowledge into Practice

If you’re still looking for additional resources to include in your antisemitism and diversity lesson plans, there’s more. EVERFI offers two additional resources that may be helpful in continuing the conversation with your students.

  • BINAH: Resources for Parents and Guardians – Accompanying the BINAH digital course, this guide includes many resources to help shape conversations, including information on current trends of discrimination, question starters for conversations, and background information on course topics.
  • Diversity Foundations for High School – Focusing on key topics, such as power and privilege, bias and unconscious bias, and allyship, this course provides students with the information and skills necessary to create a respectful and welcoming environment for everyone. EVERFI offers an educator guide, which includes various resources to help integrate the course into students’ experiences.

While challenging at times, learning about the history of the Holocaust and antisemitism can be helpful in understanding trends of discrimination against Jewish people in America today and empower students to enact powerful change within their communities. EVERFI has a myriad of resources to help you introduce these difficult yet important topics into your classroom.