Permitted graffiti

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I received this from a (non-Jewish) teacher at a school that’s largely not Jewish. It’s a classroom experiment — and, I think, one that’s both chilling and effective.

So, we’ve been reading Merchant of Venice in class, talking a lot about antisemitism… I assigned a research project on antisemitism. They had to pick a European country and research antisemitism from the middle ages through the Renaissance. Then create a propaganda poster against the Jews that demonstrated the feelings of the people at the time.

They were uncomfortable and stressed, but they did it. Posters came in that showed Jews drinking the blood of Christian babies, blaming Jews for plague, etc. Each student was prepared to present their poster and discuss it a bit. As they completed their posters I handed them sharpies and instructed them to scrawl “NEVER AGAIN” across the face of their poster.

Some of them were nearly in tears and it became a mantra as each child finished their poster the other kids would chant softly “never again, never again…” A catharsis for the release of hatred and fear…

It was beautiful. Truly.

I love my job!!

Posted on September 9, 2008

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