The academic year has begun, and children from across the country have been arriving at Yad LaYeled to take part in one of the many programs offered to grades 5–8. Yad LaYeled’s team of guides has also hosted various adult groups.
- Following a moving and successful visit organized last summer for all employees of the municipality by the Mayor of Kiryat Bialik, an initiative by Ms. Michal Haberman, head of the Department of Welfare was made to organize visits to Yad LaYeled for all employees of the various departments of the municipality. The first visit, sponsored by the Mayor, took place in December. Some fifty employees from the Kiryat Bialik Department of Welfare and Psychological Service were received with light refreshments and given a tour of Yad LaYeled’s exhibitions: “The Jewish Child during the Holocaust,” “Janusz Korczak of the Children,” and the new exhibition “My Childhood Began Here.” Emphasis was placed on issues such as intolerance of the Other during the war, the absorption and rehabilitation of Jewish children in Israel after the war, and the importance of support for and acceptance of children on the part of adults in times of distress.
- As in past years, student teachers from Oranim College took part in a two-day seminar at the Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum and at Yad LaYeled. One of the goals of the visit at Yad LaYeled is to enable students to become acquainted with museum content and with holistic-educational approach, which is suitable for children from grades 5–8. A range of activities, such as drama, art, and writing workshops as well as guided tours of the exhibitions, allow future teachers to experience a personal encounter with the subject of the Holocaust. The pedagogic method used for the activities with the students reflects Yad LaYeled’s educational approach, which enables future directions of thought and provides subjects that can be discussed with young children. On the second day of the seminar, the participants focus on historical exhibitions and exhibitions dealing with personal and collective memory. They listen to the testimony of Holocaust survivor Silvan-Shlomo Levy who, until last year, worked as a volunteer in the archives of the Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum. Silvan, a former principal of a special education school, offered a testimony that represented a very meaningful moment for everyone in the seminar.
In her feedback, one of the pedagogic guides noted, “We had two excellent, interesting, and informative days, a very special experience. In every activity you considered the students as individuals and as future teachers.”
- On the seventh day of Hanukkah, December 22, 2014, some fifty parents and children from the Ghetto Fighters’ Kibbutz took part in a special Hanukkah family event: “Neroti hazeirim, ma rabu ha sipurim (‘My tiny candles, how many stories there are’).” The festive event began with blessings and lighting of candles in the presence of the Director of the Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum, Dr. Anat Livne, and kibbutz founder and Holocaust survivor Dorka Sternberg. After singing Hanukkah songs and light refreshments, the children were divided into two age groups. The young ones (ages 1–3) were treated to a theatrical story hour with facilitator Anat Anne-Eli, who recounted one of the most famous stories for infants, “Caspion on a Journey towards Light” by Paul Kor, in the wake of the exhibition dedicated to Kor at Yad LaYeled. The children then took part in a workshop and created drawings inspired by the works of the artist.
The older children (ages 6 and over) visited the Korczak exhibition and watched a dramatized performance of one of Kor’s stories, “Two Candles,” performed by Anat Carmel, director of Yad LaYeled and Rutie Shiba, a senior guide.following the moving show, the children took part in a creative drama workshop during which, with the help of costumes and accessories, they prepared short skits related to candles and miracles. They then took part in a creative workshop for parents and children during which they created stained-glass style art on transparencies and colorful paper cut-outs and worked with colored chalks.
The House accords supreme importance to maintaining a connection with young generations from the Ghetto Fighters’ Kibbutz. The Hanukkah event is one of the ways in which the House enables adults and children to discover the wide-ranging activities of the museum and to preserve the life work of its founders.