Making History Together

Making History Together is a ‘hot off the press’ collaboration between Bar and Bat Mitzvah aged children in the UK and school children in Belarus.

This new programme is an amazing opportunity for the next generation to play a role in bringing to life an important piece of our Jewish history that few know about. In Belarus there is no Holocaust education at all and around the globe very few people know about the lives of the Belarusian Jews. This is vital Jewish history and our aim is to bring it to life through the eyes of our ‘History Makers’.

Participants will explore their own stories, and think about how they have been shaped by history. They will be encouraged to ask questions such as: “Why does history matter?”, “What can we learn from our history?” and “Why did the world forget about the Jews of Belarus?” As we move ever further away from this darkest period in our history, it is vital that we engage the next generation to hold a candle to the memory of those who perished, and to take ownership of their legacy so that future generations will learn to be the best versions of themselves.

media partner

Applications close: February 5th

Programme launches: Holocaust Memorial Day (January 27th)

To help you understand the structure and requirements of our Making History Together programme, we have collated the details into some FAQs below. It is important that you read these.

how much will it cost?

£475

This is the total cost of the seven month programme.

It pays for ‘on the ground’ educators in the UK and Belarus (including all Zoom sessions and information packs etc.) as well as the creation of the exhibition in Belarus.

This is a Non-profit programme, so any further fundraising (which we will recommend, but optional) will go towards programmes in support of disadvantaged children in Belarus.

why are there only 20 spaces?

There are a few reasons why there are only 20 places:

  • This is the inaugural launch year and so we want it to be very exclusive.
  • We think smaller groups work better as this means more personal investment
  • This will lead to a better and more focused contribution from the chosen group.
  • We want 20 committed people who are genuinely interested and ready to contribute and participate.
can the money I pay for my child's participation come from fundraising they will do?

The cost goes towards the full planning and content of the programme.

Any further fundraising will go towards developing future projects in Belarus etc. and/or disadvantaged communities.

will I get a place on the programme?

Application does not guarantee a place on the programme. 20 children will be selected and will be notified whether they have been successful by 15th Jan 2021.

how do I apply?

Apply by completing the online application form, please give as much information as possible where asked.

what values will my child develop upon participating in the programme?

Your child will develop a wide range of values from participating in the programme, these include:

  • Awareness of the stories and other people.
  • Understanding, tolerance and diversity, and about cultural differences.
  • Introduction to the notion of cultural heritage.
  • Appreciation of their place in their own community and life.
  • The importance of Jewish continuity.
  • Creating a new piece of history – creating their legacy.
  • Being a History Maker
  • Meeting new people (and friends) globally.
  • Good CV and Personal statement preparation.
  • Introducing the world of philanthropy and the importance of charity. Tzedakah and giving. This can be further discussed as part of the D’var Torah in your Bat/Bar Mitzvah.
  • A fun and exciting memory for life.
  • Understanding that you can make a difference in the world.
why Belarus?

Holocaust history of Belarus is not universally known.
Learning with our Together Plan youth educators, you will gain an in depth insight into the richness of Jewish life before WWII.
Together with the other group members, you will create your own legacy through the development of this unique exhibition.
Learning together with youth in Belarus has a major impact on their civil society,  as they can see their stories are finally being discussed, shared, valued and acknowledged.

how do you connect the children in England and the children in Belarus? And what are the expectations from my child in this regard?

There will be an interactive joined Zoom meeting for the children in both countries.
The participants will also have the opportunity to write to the participants in other countries.

how can I (as a parent) be involved?

You can encourage your children to be committed – they will get out as much as they put in and more. As the programme develops we would encourage parents to help their children, this can be done in many ways. You can talk about the history, explore and discover together, talk about family stories and ancestry, and look at maps together. This is an opportunity to bring families together and spend time talking, exploring and learning. You might be surprised what you discover about your own family history as a result! We cannot recommend enough that parents support their children through this process; it will make the experience richer and more meaningful for everyone.

what does "Making History Together" mean?

We are literally Making History. We are putting Jewish Belarus back on the map.
We are doing it together as two charities, two countries, two-gether
Jewish children on one side. Non-jewish children on the other side.
Two sides of a story.
Together we can understand this piece of history.
This is the first time that this programme is being done and so it is history in the making.

what is new and special about the "Making History Together" programme?

Making History Together is unlike any other programme. You will have unique experiences within it.

You will:

  • Have an opportunity to unlock a part of hidden history, bringing it to life.
  • Share similar and different viewpoints with Belarusian youth.
  • Receive exclusive unseen documents from the archive and give a voice to the lost children (victims) of the Holocaust.
  • Help to create a brand new moving exhibition that will be created in both English and Russian.
who is the media partner?

Throughout the year we will be working with The Jewish Chronicle, the oldest continuously published Jewish newspaper in the world.

Throughout our journey there will be opportunity for editorial, advertorial, social media engagement and narrative. This leverages opportunity to widen this programme both on a national and global level.

has a similar programme been done for Bar / Bat Mitzvah aged children in the past?

No. This is an entirely new programme, completely unique and never been done before.
This is not a traditional ‘twinning’ programme. It is unlike any other experience available.

Never before have two organisations in the UK collaborated in an informal educational programme like this. It is a chance to get involved in something very different and exciting.

how will the programme be structured?

The program is well structured and full of exciting and interesting activities, including ones that involve the family.

There will be 6 x Zoom sessions. These will focus on topics such as tolerance, power and heroes, the Partisans, Jewish values and continuity, identity and traditions, global Jewish activism (and more).
Participants will receive information packs filled with exciting items, challenges, things to find out and talk about ahead of each session.
This will include activities that can be done with the family such as quizzes, family trees and film suggestions.
There will be opportunities to collaborate through a piece of writing and a chance to Zoom together with participants in Belarus.

how long does the programme last and how much investment is required from my child?

The programme is 7 months long, starting on 27th January 2021.
The interactive Sessions are about 1.5 hours long, with a break in the middle.
The packs will be fun and interactive and are designed so that the children can look at them at their leisure and it’s up to them to decide how much to do. This is not school!

what safeguarding is in place for my child?

All of the people involved in the coordination of this programme are DBS checked and approved.

will the content be child-centric?

Absolutely. The programme is built for children and will deliver the history at a level that is both age appropriate  and engaging.

how do we talk about the Holocaust to 11-13 year olds?

Parents will receive a pack – with a guide on to how to discuss the Holocaust with your children.

what will happen to the exhibitions?

We want the exhibitions to reach many people. In the UK, the exhibition will be made available to schools, synagogues and community centres. In Belarus, the exhibition will travel to schools, and will be used as part of the work that The Together Plan is doing in the work of building a Jewish Cultural Heritage Trail in Belarus with Jewish communities in the country.

what is the exhibition about and will there be an additional charge?

There is no additional charge.
This exhibition will shine a light on the stories of the Holocaust in Belarus, as well as giving an opportunity to share information about participants own family connections and also others.
The exhibition highlights the important of shared learning.
Participants will add their own content making it completely unique to them.
There is the opportunity to write articles for our media partner about what’s happening (Jewish Chronicle).
All archive documents of the children who perished will be honoured.

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