Holocaust studies for children

I was looking for a day care and went by the Jewish Community Center in my area.

While having the tour, I noticed a teacher showing a group of 3 year olds some enlarged photographs on the wall. I couldn’t hear what she was saying, so I asked the director (who was showing me around) what the lesson was about.

She said they were teaching the children wbout the Holocaust. She said lessons about the Holocaust are begun when the children are 2 years old. She said all the material is “age appropriate.”

I didn’t put my son there (really freaking expensive), but ever since I’ve wondered about how you teach 2 year olds about the Holocaust.

Can this be appropriate?

I don’t think so. I think exposing two year-olds to the concept of people killing other people is wrong. They just aren’t ready to handle the concept yet.

Heck, my six and five year olds (to my knowledge) don’t know about the Holocaust yet. (My eight year old does, but at a level he can understand).

Zev Steinhardt

Gee, that seems awfully young. I think you should go find out what this age appropriate material is; then you can judge. But I wouldn’t tell my 2-yo about it–we’re still working on hitting and going potty, for goodness sake.

My ex-bf remembers being told about ‘6 million’ at age 5.

My wife is an Early Childhood Educator working in a Jewish Community Center. Actually, this year, she’s teaching age 2’s. She/we agree with you - that’s just ridiculous. It isn’t even necessary! Unless they might ask, say on Yom Ha-shouah, when even then one could keep it simple, it really could wait until their a bit more mature and emotionally prepared to talk about it. I don’t recall learning about it until Middle School, and even then, many had nightmares about it.

Goodness, though - showing them photos about it!? Why ruin their innocent childhood so soon? And, surely they cannot understand it at their age!!! There’s plenty of time for them to learn about such atrocities later on. I mean, on a smaller scale, would you go purposely submerging them in all the 9/11 photos and video images now - at that age? Wouldn’t you try to keep it as low key as possible for such young children? At least, that’s what I’d tell that JCC director!!! - IMHO, Jinx