Educational Resources for Combatting Antisemitism

January 27 is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Designated by the United Nations (UN), this day honors the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism.

The UN also urges member states to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides. Below, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) has collected resources about antisemitism and tools that Washington educators can use for teaching about the Holocaust.

What is antisemitism?

Definitions of antisemitism can vary across organizations, as they are often the consensus of a set of given perspectives. These definitions can evolve with time and context.

Here are some contemporary definitions and understandings of antisemitism:

  • The Anti-Defamation League (ADL): In its Education Glossary, the ADL defines antisemitism as “the marginalization and/or oppression of people who are Jewish based on the belief in stereotypes and myths about Jewish people, Judaism and Israel.”
  • The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA): “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
  • The United Stated Holocaust Memorial Museum writes that “antisemitism means prejudice against or hatred of Jews.”

What laws does Washington have regarding Holocaust education?

State law (RCW 28A.300.115) strongly encourages middle schools, junior high schools, and high schools to include instruction on the Holocaust. This instruction can include other examples of genocide and crimes against humanity. According to law, “The studying of this material is intended to: Examine the ramifications of prejudice, racism, and intolerance; prepare students to be responsible citizens in a pluralistic democracy; and be a reaffirmation of the commitment of free peoples never again to permit such occurrences.”

OSPI is required to develop best practices and guidelines for high-quality instruction, as well as support teachers in implementing these best practices and guidelines. The OSPI website contains detailed information about Holocaust education.

Resources about Jewish life

Resources on antisemitism

  • Antisemitism Uncovered: This resource from the ADL reviews definitions of antisemitism, examines antisemitism throughout history, and debunks antisemitic myths.
  • Antisemitism after the Holocaust: This brief video, presented by Yad Vashem, explains that antisemitism has continued even after the Holocaust and threatens the lives of Jewish people.

Resources for teaching about antisemitism

Resources on the Holocaust

  • Learn About the Holocaust: This webpage from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum contains resources about the Holocaust, antisemitism and Holocaust denial, genocide and mass atrocities, and more.
  • The Shoah Foundation at the University of Southern California maintains collections of personal stories about genocide, including their collection about the Holocaust.
  • Holocaust Remembrance Day: The Holocaust Center for Humanity (HCH) shares a video from the 2022 remembrance day, as well as suggestions for ways to honor the day.
  • Combating Holocaust denial and distortion: This webpage from the IHRA includes information about current efforts to minimize the Holocaust and resources for countering these distortions.
  • Survivor Encyclopedia: Maintained and updated by the HCH, this encyclopedia includes the stories of survivors and eyewitnesses who live or have lived in Washington.
  • Genocide Resources: The HCH defines genocide and provides resources about countries that have experienced genocide or are at risk of experiencing genocide.

Resources for teaching about the Holocaust

Three Jewish children rescued from Theresienstadt, a concentration camp, rest in the Hadwigschulhaus (school) in St. Gallen, Switzerland, ca. 1945. (Photo made available by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.)