This is a lesson plan provided by the National Library of Israel.

For 2,000 years Tisha B’Av has traditionally been the saddest day of the Jewish calendar.  Yet, in the aftermath of the Holocaust does Tisha B’Av still hold that distinction?  Should there be a day apart from Tisha B’Av which marks the enormous Jewish catastrophe of the 20th century or should Yom HaShoah be integrated into one national day of mourning on Tisha B’Av?  Using a Davar newspaper article from May 12, 1965 as a springboard for discussion, learners will learn about the origins of Yom HaShoah. Students will then debate which date is more appropriate for its commemoration; the 27th of Nissan (the Warsaw uprising), or Tisha B’Av.

The learner will:

  1. understand why there was a difference of opinion as to when when Yom Hashoah should be commemorated
  2. know why Yom Hashoah is currently commemorated on the 27th of Nissan and why it could be commemorated on Tisha B’Av

be able to formulate and argue their own opinions as to when Yom Hashoah should be commemorated

About the National Library and its educational materials:

The mission of the National Library of Israel is to provide a home for items of national, historic or cultural significance. Each of these primary sources serve as unique entry points into the collective memory of the people of Israel as well as the Jewish people worldwide.

The education department at the library curates the collection of primary sources and uses them as windows into the past; to foster a deeper understanding of Jewish history, and to enable learners to personalize and connect to earlier events.


When you click on the National Library of Israel resource link featured above, you will find the following educational building blocks for the creation of a lesson plan:


  1. A group activity to open the lesson and engage the learners.
  2. Discussion ideas and/or questions that are designed to get the learners thinking more deeply about the content.
  3. A creative activity that gives students the opportunity to go beyond learning and analyzing, to crafting something new, that personalizes how they relate to the  primary sources featured in the resource.
  4. The primary sources in this resource have individual links (listed in Expand your horizons below) that provide expanded information. In addition there are nuanced discussion questions that will enable students in small groups to engage independently and effectively in the process of  observing, interpreting, and connecting to the primary sources.

    Link to the lesson plan:
    Move Yom Hashoah to Tisha B’Av

Student handouts, computer, projector

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