| |

SIDIC Periodical XXXI - 1988/3
Voices of Youth (Pages 18)

Other articles from this issue | Version in English | Version in French

Yad La Yeled


It is in Galilee, a place of memory dedicated to the one-and-one-half million Jewish children who died during the Shoah. “Yad la Yeled is not a museum like other museums, nor is it another memorial.” (Simone Veil) Its purpose is to introduce, without traumatizing, children ten years of age and older to the world of the Shoah. Constructed by the architect Ram Carmi of Lohamei ha Ghettaot, the Kibbutz of the Ghetto Fighters, and inaugurated in May 1995, Yad la Yeled is a truncated cone which spirals downward into the earth.

The pedagogy at Yad la Yeled emphasizes:

Telling through voices of children
Telling truthfully through authentic accounts
Telling about life as experienced by a child
Telling today through modern technology
Telling for tomorrow so as to invite the young visitors to a deeper knowledge and to add their questioning as another link in the chain of memory.

The visit unfolds in two stages: passage through the exhibits at their own personal pace and, after a break, participation in workshops led by educators who, through art, writing, movement, drama and music, “work with the children about the thoughts and the feelings provoked by the visit.”

A class of Jewish children from L’Ecole Ganenou* in Paris visited Yad la Yeled in 1997. SIDIC received permission to share some of their reflections with its readers.

“It is important to deeply experience it in order to understand.” – Jennifer

“It goes against respect for the human person.” – Rachel

“How is it possible to arrive at this? Why this lack of compassion?” – Alice
“Human beings belong to the same race. It is an injustice to kill them.” – Micou

“It is important that people bear witness.” – Harold

“You put youself into the situation and say ‘What would I have done if I had been in their place? Would I have been able to run and save myself?’ That is why it must never happen again.” – Léa

“The museum affected me very much because it is about a terrible time and because it is children of my age who are telling their story, the story of the Shoah which could have happened to me…It is important to remember, to understand the stages and the mechanisms, in order to ensure that it is never repeated.” – Sarah

“I asked myself why the museum is shaped the way it is. Perhaps to resemble the chimneys in the camps, to portray the horror of the camps? I was very moved, and later it was necessary for me to inform other children about what the museum taught me. A million children who were able to play, create art, have a father and a mother were killed…This must never happen again. No child, regardless of its religion, race or color, must suffer again. It is our responsibility as Jews to strongly oppose the potential eruption of any massacre.” – Déborah


* L’Ecole Ganenou is an “open and pluralistic” Jewish school of 220 students, founded in 1979. For the past twelve years, during their last year of primary school the children have been in relationship with Christian teachers and students of their own age.


Home | Who we are | What we do | Resources | Join us | News | Contact us | Site map

Copyright Sisters of Our Lady of Sion - General House, Rome - 2011