Although every prejudice has its unique history and manifestations, there is something innate about the ways humans create groups. Groups serve an evolutionary, psychological purpose for humans; forming groups is not necessarily bad. But the same mechanism by which we form healthy groups can be weaponized to form dangerous divisions. Jews and the Jewish community have been ostracized and denigrated for centuries and have long been characterized as outsiders.
How can understanding the psychology of division help us recognize these tendencies and attitudes around us and within ourselves? In what ways have these tendencies and attitudes manifested throughout history and today in relationship to antisemitism.
This is the second workshop in the Facing History Foundations Series, which intends to invite interaction with Facing History and Ourselves’ core curriculum resources and small group educator conversations. Through sharing practices and dialogue, each workshop will hone specific teaching topics and practices, and prepare participants with teaching strategies to engage students more effectively with the Holocaust or other histories of identity-based violence.
Subsequent workshops in this series will explore themes choices in times of injustice, Holocaust memoir and testimony, and inspiring upstanders.
If you are unfamiliar with Facing History and Ourselves’ scope and sequence, and contracting / community agreements, please familiarize yourself with these topics before the first workshop.