The “fifth question” is a values-based, educational initiative dealing with Jewish identity and making the connection between Israeli nationalism and the Holocaust. This project enables the participants to formulate their memory and test their individual and group national identity and how the Holocaust impacts their lives living in ta Jewish, democratic State. This initiative is the brainchild of Osnat Ur-Leurer and is incorporated as part of the Beren Fellows program for social entrepreneurship in the Galilee region of northern Israel.
This program will be incorporated into the Amirim high school’s 11th grade school trip to Poland. The students are challenged to ask questions and to take responsibility of their surrounding communities – in school, in the home-village and the Western Galilee. The students undergo numerous activities leading up to their school trip including lectures and hands-on activities in their community. They are pushed to learn and answer the question who is the Holocaust survivor in my community? What was their part in nationhood, building the State and more specifically, the Western Galilee? The students also interview local survivors and to document their epic personal narrative. These testimonies are uploaded onto a dedicated website and the students use this as a teaching tool to other kids at the Amirim high school on Israel’s Holocaust Memorial Day. These personal testimonies will also be dominant with the students during their Poland school trip.
In addition to this primary goal and as a supplement to their education on this important subject, the Amirim students will also participate in the annual Galila foundation events with the region’s Holocaust survivors taking place across the northern Galilee communities in the month leading up to the festival of Passover.
The finale of this creative initiative will be that the students, upon their return from the Poland school trip will be charged with organizing and implementing the annual Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony held in the community of Kfar Veradim and with the full attendance of the community.
The ‘Fifth Question” initiative is a new way to inculcate the younger Israeli generation with the critical importance of blending memory together with education and activism.