MORESHET , research and education center for Holocaust Studies.
The Founding of Moreshet
Moreshet was originally established by the Kibbutz Arẓi Ha-Shomer ha-Ẓa'ir in the early 1960s as a center for collecting testimonies of concentration camp survivors and resistance fighters from the ghettos. The moving spirits of the project were a group of former partisans and members of Jewish undergrounds which included: Abba *Kovner, Israel *Gutman, Chaike Grossman and a then young historian, Yehuda *Bauer. Their plan was adopted at a convention of the Kibbutz Arẓi Federation in 1961. Kovner explained to the delegates the significance of the name, which they had chosen:
The project will be called Moreshet. Why? Because we are of the people. We intend to say that we have no political arrogance, but only an historical truth: that we are heirs to a great heritage of our people.
The primary incentive in all their activities was to make certain that future generations learn about the horrors of the Holocaust and to insure that it doesn't happen again.
As the years went by, Moreshet, expanded its field of work. In the early 21st century Moreshet had developed into a leading research and education center for Holocaust Studies. It carries out activities in various fields with a publishing house; Yalkut Moreshet, a journal; an educational Campus at Givat Ḥavivah; Holocaust Studies and Research Center: Moreshet Archives; an exhibition annex; journeys to Poland; and the Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony at Yad Mordechai.
moreshet publishing house
The dozens of titles which have appeared over the years encompass central issues, such as personal testimonies, biographies, historical works, annals of communities and literature for children and youth. The books, covering important subjects of the Holocaust, are an important resource for pupils and researchers.
The journal Yalkut Moreshet is a prestigious research periodical appearing twice annually. First issued in December 1963, it is the oldest and most significant of its kind in Israel and is dedicated to documentation, deliberation, and research of the Holocaust. The material that appears in Yalkut Moreshet has proven to be an invaluable source for courses in Holocaust Studies both in Israel and abroad.
As of 2003, an English edition of Yalkut Moreshet has begun appearing on an annual basis, containing articles from the current Hebrew edition, as well as articles from previous editions that have become classics in Holocaust research.
The Educational Campus at Givat Ḥavivah
The characteristic and unique guidelines of Moreshet's educational work are characterized by the participation of the pupils in the educational process, through various interdisciplinary activity workshops. Less emphasis is placed on lectures and more on discussions, stories and opportunity for self-expression. Major use is made of different means of illustration: films, pictures etc. Pupils are also given the opportunity to connect with the computerized archives for personal projects.
A significant portion of time is devoted to an encounter with Holocaust survivors. Since they were then the same age the pupils are now, it is easy for the youngsters to listen to them, ask questions and to identify.
Historical stress is placed on the role of youth, and especially graduates of the youth movements, in the resistance against Nazism. Historiography points out the place of youth as a leading element and stimulus to resistance, and at its head – graduates of the youth movements – owing to the education and values which they absorbed in their movements.
A central theoretical guideline is the exposure of the sources of racism and the roots of antisemitism and education towards universal humanistic values as a way of preventing it from happening again. Moreshet encourages participants to confront the complex dilemmas of one's own experience, to take a stand. and to make a moral choice.
Among the educational programs carried out by Moreshet are (a) programs for the Israel Defense Forces, which enrich knowledge of moral struggles and values. Moreshet offers seminars dealing with the effects of military service in reinforcing Jewish and Israeli identity. Programs touch on obedience to authority, the role of civilians in war, heroism, human dignity. (b) Study days for pupils of all grades: the study units and means of illustration in the programs offered are designed with maximum consideration of the cognitive and emotional ability of the various age groups. During the course various activities take place, including creative activity to "work through" the experiences of the day. (c) A program on women Holocaust Resistance fighters, which deals with the role of women in fighting in the ghettoes and forests and as liaisons with the Aryan side. The seminar deals with conflicts stemming from the three components of women's identity – woman, Jew, and Holocaust fighter. Emphasis is placed on the education these women received in their youth, on the ways they overcame difficulties and obstacles, the dilemmas they faced, and the means they used to fulfill their missions. (d) A weekend seminar in Russian for new immigrants from the cis, Antisemitism, Racism and the Holocaust as a Significant Element in Shaping the Collective Israeli Consciousness, has as its goal A weekend the clarification of the concepts connected with the Israeli collective identity; their significance to new immigrants and how they deal with these questions; antisemitism and the Holocaust as a significant element in shaping Israeli and Jewish collective consciousness. (e) Programs for visitors from abroad in the form of seminars on the Holocaust and its ramifications on Israeli society range from one to three days and include accommodations at Givat Ḥavivah, and are offered in English, Spanish, German, and other languages upon request. The schedule includes workshops, lectures and tours.
The Mordechai Anielevich Holocaust Studies and Research Center
Founded in 1961, the task of the archives contain a collection of documents and testimonies from the period of the Holocaust, including important documents and files such as the Hannah Szenes, Abba Kovner, and Menachem Bader papers.
Moreshet has established a Reading and Research Center, including books of communities, of chronicles and documentation of the Holocaust period; personal memoirs and individual and group testimonies. Rooms for researchers are equipped with computers attached to the Moreshet computer network and research and information programs.
Moreshet is in the process of developing an exhibition annex on the Givat Ḥavivah campus. The new annex will provide the basis for learning about the resistance to the Nazis in the ghettoes, in the concentration camps, and among the partisans. From there the visitors will go into the classrooms and the auditorium. The annex will also contain an area for temporary exhibitions, providing visual expressions of various events.
Journeys to Poland
The Kibbutz Arẓi high schools and the Ha-Shomer ha-Ḥa'ir youth movement were among the first to organize delegations to the sites of the Holocaust and have thus gained significant experience in organizing the journeys and preparing groups for the experience programs offered by Moreshet towards the journeys to Poland by high school students include detailed preparation for the journey; acquaintance with the Jewish world that perished; study of World War ii in Europe; clarification on the forming of Jewish and Zionist identity as an aftermath of the Holocaust. Moreshet also provides experienced guides to accompany the groups as well as workshops for the participants upon their return home, to "work through" the experience.
There is a training program for guides and teachers accompanying the journey to Poland, which includes educational ways of dealing with the experience of the journey. The preparation course for accompanying teachers is a program aimed at expansion of knowledge on subjects related to the Holocaust, and the psychological and educational preparation for the role of accompanying teacher. It also trains teachers to deal with questions arising among young persons upon their return from Poland and develops the teachers' capabilities to cope with problems, difficulties and reactions by individuals and groups.
[Ariel Hurwitz (2nd ed.)]