Israeli Toddlers Made to Wear Yellow Stars of David on Holocaust Remembrance Day

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A picture posted on Facebook of a toddler wearing a yellow Star of David.

Parents in Rishon Letzion complained Thursday that a municipal kindergarten teacher had stuck yellow Star of David patches on the children's shirts as part of the Holocaust Remembrance Day commemorations. In Tel Aviv, school children were asked to describe a day in a concentration camp and a conversation with a Nazi officer.

A mother in Rishon Letzion posted a photo of her daughter wearing a yellow patch on Facebook. "Shocked, completely stunned, find it hard to speak, refuse to understandthis is how my three-year-old daughter returned from the day care center today. I don't remember if and how I was taught in nursery school about Holocaust Remembrance Day, we all know and respect its importance, but the message was conveyed to the toddlers today in an appalling, unacceptable way," she wrote.

The mother wondered whether the children should learn about the subject while wearing a yellow patch as Holocaust survivors and what the limits of the nursery school teacher's authority were.

"After all, in a child's world, when they put a sticker or symbol on him, it is seen as a prize for good behavior, which is very different from the meaning of this symbol, which carries a very heavy burden, too heavy for small children," she wrote.

"Can every nursery school teacher do whatever comes into her mind? Is there no supervision and direction about the implications of such an act? Who is responsible here?"

The mother told Haaretz that "education people can't do whatever they want in nursery schools. The children must be told the minimum at this age. There's a siren and they must stand. The city didn't respond to my Facebook post."

The Rishon Letzion municipality said the nursery school teacher was suspended immediately and summoned to a hearing before dismissal. "Nursery school teachers were instructed on how to deal with Holocaust Day before the day itself," the city's statement said.

Parents in a Tel Aviv school were angered to learn their fourth grade children were given a work sheet entitled "The Final Solution plan." The children were asked on the sheet to answer questions, including "imagine a day in a concentration camp," "describe the day of a child hiding in a cellar or an attic from the Nazis" and "write an imaginary dialogue between yourself and a Nazi soldier."

The Education Ministry's Tel Aviv office responded that the work sheet was not suitable to the fourth grade and had been distributed without the school principal's knowledge. The teacher will be called to sort the matter out with the school supervisor.

Other parents told Haaretz that children in various schools were asked to wear a yellow Star of David during the Holocaust memorial ceremony or during the school day. 

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