When compared with the Holocaust, the murder of 47 Jews in 1903 Kishinev, Russia hardly seems to fit the definition of an epoch-making event.  And yet, that one bloody moment in Jewish history set in motion a psychological “tsunami” that transformed the future of the Jewish people.  In this resource, learners will study the events that led up to the Kishinev pogrom and the Jewish response to it, as portrayed in Bialik’s City of Slaughter. Students will analyze the short and long range impact of the massacre on the Jewish psyche of that time and how it changed the course of Zionism.  A “deeper dive” into our contemporary world is provided through discussion questions that prompt the learners to compare and contrast Kishinev with our confrontations with anti-Semitism today as well as to explore how we can prevent and address Jew hatred in a society that is deeply impacted by social media. 

The learner will:

  1. understand the ways in which the 1903 pogrom served as a psychological spark that transformed how Jews saw themselves in the larger world

  2. know the historical background of the Kishinev pogrom, the role that the media played in shaping public opinion, and how conspiracy theories can ignite hatred and physical violence against others

be able to write a letter in first person, describing the events and emotions felt by the Jews of Kishinev, and to articulate the causes of contemporary anti-Semitism as well as possible ways to combat it

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

A video designed to spark interest in the topic.

Computer, Student Handouts

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

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