In light of Shoah, teens feel Israel should aid refugees

Massuah Institute for Holocaust Studies poll finds 67% of teens aged 15 to 18 believe the Jewish state should help foreigners fleeing persecution.

January 25, 2011 05:29
1 minute read.
African Refugees

African Refugees 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


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Most teenagers feel that the lessons of the Holocaust require Israel to offer assistance to refugees, according to a survey released on Monday.

The poll, conducted on behalf of Massuah Institute for Holocaust Studies, showed about 67 percent of the 1,000 respondents, aged 15 to 18, believe the Jewish state should help foreigners fleeing persecution in their countries. In addition, about a quarter of young Israelis said the murder of 6 million Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators during World War II was proof that “the world is against us.”

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Aya Ben-Naftali, the director- general of Massuah, spoke about the importance of using personal accounts from survivors to educate students about the Holocaust.

“As the generation of Holocaust survivors is passing away, more youth feel that meeting a survivor personally is a primary source of education on the Holocaust,” she said. “The poll shows living testimony of the survivors is perceived as the next-closest thing to ‘being there.’ A survivor’s personal story allows youth in the 21st century, 60 years after the war ended, to understand the complicated issues and responsive patterns of Jews during the Holocaust.”

The poll was carried out ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which will be marked on Thursday.

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