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Museum of Jewish Heritage WebQuest

Directions: As you prepare to read Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl and learn about the Holocaust, this WebQuest will help you learn about Jewish life and culture before, during, and after the Holocaust.

Start here: The Museum of Jewish Heritage online collection

1.) Click on “Family” at the bottom of the page.

a.) What were three common languages from which Jewish people took names?

b.) Why might a Jewish person have adopted a non-Jewish name?

c.) Look at the “Photograph of a Seder at the Home of Abraham Block.” What is a seder and why is it celebrated?

2.) Next, click on “Jewish Communities” at the bottom of the page.

a.) What does the article tell us is “at the heart” of any Jewish community?

b.) What is a rabbi? What is a synagogue?

c.) Click on the picture of the “Pushke—Charity Box.” What tradition in Judaism does the charity box represent? Why is this significant?

d.) Click on the picture of the “Wig Making Tool.” Why do some Jewish women wear wigs or head coverings?

3.) Next, click on “Sacred Seasons of the Jewish Year” at the bottom of the page.

a.) Why do Jews celebrate Passover?

b.) How have celebrations of Jewish holidays changed over the years?

c.) Click on the picture of the “Passover Kiddush Cup.” What does the Kiddush cup represent? Why does this particular Kiddush cup have an ironic history?

4.) Next, click on “The Cycle of Life” at the bottom of the page.

a.) What are the values that are “recurring themes in [Jewish] celebrations over the centuries and across the globes”?

b.) What events in Jewish life are often observed with both public and personal ceremonies and rituals?

c.) Click on the picture of the “Wedding Invitation for the Marriage of Ida Lutwick and Max Wisotsky.” Why does the groom crush a glass with his foot at the conclusion of a Jewish wedding?

5.) Next, click on “Jews Around the World 1880-1839” at the bottom of the page.

a.) What percentage of Jews, worldwide, lived in Europe in 1880? By 1939, how had this percentage changed? What events explain this change?

b.) What does “anti-Semitism” mean?

c.) Click on the picture of the “Identity Card of Rudy ‘Israel’ Simonstein.” Why were Jews forced to carry identity cards and, in some cases, change their names in Nazi Germany?

d.) How were Jews identified as Jews in identity cards or passports?

6.) Next, click on “Jewish Activism 1945-Present” at the bottom of the page.

a.) What have been some of the challenges faced by Jewish people around the world in the post-Holocaust years?

b.) What is the connection between the Holocaust and Jewish activism and charitable activity today?

c.) Click on the picture of the “‘Prisoner of Conscience’ Bracelet.” What did these bracelets represent?

d.) What is the connection between the “Refuseniks” and Jewishness in Soviet Russia? What might be the similarity between the situation of the Refuseniks and Jews in Nazi Germany before World War II?

7.) Finally, click on “View Exhibitions” at the TOP of the page. Choose any of the other collections, which are items that have been photographed and written about by young Jewish people in the United States today that represent Jewish culture and history. Choose one item in any of the collections and write about how it might be connected to any of the other items or historical circumstances you’ve already discovered in this WebQuest.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!

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