The years 1648 and 1649 (known as‘Tach v”Tat” in Hebrew) will forever mark one of the bloodiest massacres in Jewish history.  Led by the savage Ukrainian Cossack Bogdan Chmielnicki, the pogroms he and his peasant followers unleashed on Polish and Lithuanian Jewry are rivaled only by the Holocaust for their sheer brutality.  And yet, despite the tens of thousands of Jews murdered along with the total destruction of Jewish towns, Chmielnicki is today regarded by some in the Ukraine as a “national hero,” honored by a large monument of him in the city of Kiev, bank notes featuring his portrait, and a city named in his honor.  How is this possible? In addition to a brief video, thought provoking discussion questions challenge the learners to confront complex moral and social issues relevant to our contemporary world.  Interactive learning activities such as “Save the Last Word For Me” and a project that directs each learner to research a European shtetl help the learner not only to grapple with the evil abyss wrought by Chmielnicki and the memorialization of his legacy but also to better understand the world that was – the Jewish shtetl on the eve of the slaughter and obliteration of Jewish life.

The learners will:

  1. understand the moral implications of the memorialization of arch murderer Chmielnicki as a national hero. 

  2. know the historical background and scope of the Chmielnicki pogroms and the obliteration of entire Jewish communities.

  3. be able to grapple with the ethical issues posed by the Ukrainian veneration of Chmielnicki and to formulate and articulate their own opinions about the contemporary debates surrounding memorialization of morally tainted historical figures.

Unpacked for Educators materials include:

  1. An educator’s guide that  contains many rich components. These are organized under the following titles: 

  • review (questions that relate to the video)

  • discussion

  • activities

  • reflection

  • further learning

  1. A video designed to spark interest in the topic.

  2. A lesson plan (link in the attachment above) that incorporates additional building blocks for the construction of an engaging and interactive lesson.

Student handout, computer, projector

The website link includes a “further learning” section in the educator’s guide.

Welcome to UnitEd's new website!

Our website is just starting its journey,  and we'll be adding new content, features, and resources regularly.

We invite you to return to our website and follow its growth!