Opinion |

It’s Not Just the Holocaust. Israel Is Failing to Teach the History of the Jews

Israel’s decision to cancel high school trips to Poland should be seen as a chance to overhaul the woefully incomplete and parochial way history is taught in Israeli schools

Anshel Pfeffer
Anshel Pfeffer
Anshel Pfeffer
Anshel Pfeffer

I first visited Poland 32 years ago, as an Israeli high school student. The country was already undergoing its transition to democracy, but many of the regulations of the communist era still remained in place. For example, overseas groups had to be accompanied by government-approved guides. As we made our way by bus from death camp to ghetto to empty synagogue, a well-meaning, gray-haired Polish lady tried to educate us on local history in heavily accented English. Her contribution made, our guide would then take to the microphone to “translate.”

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