The Course of the Program:
During the first stage of the program the students participating in the project
get to know each other. The students send each other personal and group
identity papers in which they tell about themselves, their schools and the
community in which they live.
The second stage of the project is the joint reading of one of the books by the
author Uri Orlev, The Sandgame or The Island on Bird Street. We
have chosen Uri Orlev, who went through the Holocaust as a child in Poland,
because we greatly esteem his books, as do many people. Uri Orlev has received
many prizes for his writing, the most important of which is the Andersen Prize
for Children's Literature for 1996. It is of course possible to choose a
After reading the book in class there is a learning process in small groups,
which includes the selection and discussion of relevant excerpts and discussing
them. A similar process is taking place simultaneously overseas. At this stage,
when the two classes have finished choosing their excerpts, learning groups
comprised of students from the two schools are formed and they discuss the
excerpts via the Internet or other means of communication (fax, mail). The
discussion between the students creates a common international study group.
Learning together is an important tool for creating a meaningful multi-cultural
encounter. A joint reading and discussion of the book can provide a bridge for
children from different cultures. By discussing the book together they reveal
the similarities and differences between the groups and a fruitful dialogue
The final project for the groups is the preparation of a group Reading Journal
that summarizes the e-mail discussions between the groups in Israel and
overseas. Each group prepares a title page or computer display for its project.
The groups can expand their projects and include research on the subject,
interviews with survivors and the viewing of pictures and documents from the
Ghetto Fighters' House archives.
The final project is displayed in the school on Holocaust Memorial Day to
teachers, parents and invited dignitaries from the community. Students from
other countries visiting Israel privately are invited to visit Yad Layeled with
their parents to get to know the exhibitions. Classes from schools in other
countries who visit Israel with their school are invited to meet with their
Israeli counterparts at Yad Layeled.
The program is coordinated by members of the Yad Layeled staff, and is
accompanied by a teacher's guide that was written especially for this project.
The success of the project requires suitable funding, manpower and equipment