Volume 17, 2012-2013 : Formal and Informal Jewish Education:
Lessons and Challenges in Israel and in the Diaspora

Israeli and Diaspora Students Travel to the Holocaust Sites in Poland:
The Impact on the Perceptions of the Holocaust, Jewish Identity, and Israel-Diaspora Ties

Nitza Davidovitch
Director of the Department of Academic Evaluation and Development
Ariel University Center, Israel

Dan Soen
Ariel University Center, Israel

The Ministry of Education encourages Israeli students to visit sites of historic Jewish communities in Poland and the sites of Nazi death camps. The trip is designed to reinforce the youngsters’ sense of belonging to the Jewish people, their connection to and identification with Jewish heritage and history, and their commitment to the future of Jewish life in Israel and its sovereignty. This study explores the impact of trips to Poland, organized by Tachlit Center, on Israeli and overseas university students. The vast majority of participants confirm that the trip emphasizes the important role of the Holocaust memory and commemoration. Findings on the impact of Holocaust education on other Israeli and Jewish values (e.g., the significance of immigration to Israel and ties to the Jewish Diaspora) are discussed, along with the implications for future Holocaust education programs.

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