Education and Culture Centre of the Jewish Museum in Prague – Office in Brno offers education programmes for students from various schools, for other interest groups and clubs focused on leisure activities and within the Sunday programmes also for parents with children. Our centre has a technically equipped lecture hall for 30 listeners, where lectures and workshops take place.
Our lectures are aimed mainly for primary and secondary students. The content of the lectures can be adjusted according to their age and their knowledge of Jewish culture. The lectures are based mainly on a presentation which provides students with information related to the individual lectures. The length of the programme is roughly two teaching hours – 90 minutes.
- The earliest history of Jews – a journey through the main stages of the distant Jewish past will bring back significant events, that took place on the territory of the ancient Israel, from the arrival of the tribe of Israel to Canaan, through the kingdoms of Israel and Judea, Babylon exile, post-exile era to the emergence of the Diaspora; as well as significant people, who played crucial role in those times – Abraham, the forefather of the Jewish nation, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, famous kings David and Solomon, Judah Maccabee and Bar Kokhba, the fearless leaders of the uprising against the Romans and other figures of the Old Testament stories.
- History of Jews in Bohemia and Moravia – a look back at Jewish history in the Czech lands, focusing on the fate of Jews from the beginnings of their settlement in the Czech lands in the 10th century, covering all the significant moments of our coexistence during the Middle Ages, modern times and 19th century to the present situation of the Jewish communities in the Czech Republic. Apart from historical facts the lecture will also outline the changing picture of social and legal position of Jews in this country and the related roots of hatred against Jews. In the section devoted to Jewish culture and arts the lecture will also present some important Jewish sights from Bohemia and Moravia.
- Jewish religion, culture and traditions – insight into the colourful Jewish world. Provides rough outlines of the development of Judaism, teaches students about its characteristic features and explains the main conceptions that relate to it – monotheism, Torah, Talmud, Mishna, synagogue etc. It also presents the cycle of life with its traditions and rituals related to the life of Jews, Jewish holidays and Jewish cuisine. Student also have an opportunity to see some ritual objects and listen to the samples of Jewish music, which should facilitate their better understanding of Jewish culture.
- The Jewish Year – the lecture aims to acquaint students further with the Jewish calendar and holidays, that are associated with it. Special attention is paid to the holidays announced in Torah – Sabbath, three pilgrim holidays (Pesach, Shavu´ot, Sukkot), Shemini Atzeret (The Eight Day of Assembly), Simhat Torah and High Holidays – Rosh Hashanah (New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement); however, it doesn’t leave out other festive days, that were added only in post-Biblical era, such as Hanukkah or Purim. The lecture outlines main traditions, customs and objects related to the holidays.
- The Shoa – the aim of this lecture is to offer students complex and clear view on the development and typical features of anti-Semitism and basic features and moments of Jewish persecution during the Second World War. The lecture also contains more detailed explanation of the fate of the Czech and Moravian Jews during the Shoa and important role of Terezín in the Nazi plans of the “final solution”. If the time schedule of the school allows, the lecture can be accompanied by screening of documentary films or by a meeting with a Holocaust survivor or witness.
The main aim of the workshops is to familiarize the participants in a playful way with selected themes of the Jewish world – Jewish traditions, holidays, customs, culture, history and religion. The programmes are based on individual work of the participants and make use of their dramatic and artistic abilities. They are suitable for primary and secondary school students, members of leisure time groups (scouts and other similar organisations), and parents with children during our Sunday programmes (the age of the children is specified according to individual workshops). The same as lectures the workshops usually last 90 minutes. Researcher and Hana’s suitcase are slightly longer.
Researcher – This workshop may be an alternative or a supplement to the lecture on Jewish religion, culture and traditions. There is no lecturer or instructor and the students pass on the information to each other. They work separately in small groups, each focusing on a key topic concerning Jewish life (Sabbath, Pesach, Jewish cuisine, cycle of life, wedding). They are given worksheets with questions concerning each topic and a box containing various texts, pictures, photographs, and real objects. Making use of these, each group presents the results of their work to the other students at a “scientific conference”.
Pesach – at the beginning of this workshop, students find out about the Old Testament story of the Exodus of Jewish people from Egypt lead by Moses in the form of a simple game and with the present-day celebrations of the holiday of Pesah. Students are involved in a discussion about the relevance of the Decalogue to the present day and also make their own tablets of the Ten Commandments, adding the commandments that they consider to be important in the contemporary world and society. ¨
Hana’s suitcase – the workshop based on a similar principle to that of the author of the programme Hana’s Suitcase Karen Levin (published by Portál in 2003). The method is basically like that in the Researcher workshop. On the basis of their own research of documents they get in an archive box (photos, log book reports, paintings, etc.) students find out about the fate of specific people from the then protectorate Bohemia and Moravia during the Second World War. Drawing on their findings and their own ideas they present a life story of one of the selected characters to other students. The workshop is designated primarily for higher years of primary school.
Holocaust in documents – the workshop is designated for primary school nine-graders and for high school students. The workshop starts with introducing the participants to the issue of the Second World War and Holocaust. Afterwards the students divide in small groups and analyse documents that they get compiled in five worksheets. The five worksheets correspond to the five phases of Holocaust, as they were determined by the foremost American historian Raul Hilberg – definition, expropriation, deportation, concentration and extermination. Each group will find in their folder tasks to be completed, which helps them in creating presentations of individual phases of Holocaust. The outcome of the workshop is five presentations which give a complex overview of what happened during the Holocaust. Teachers can take the worksheets and use them in their classes.
Jewish wedding – wedding is considered to be one of the most important moments of life everywhere in the world. It is important for the partners, who gain a different status in the society, as well as for their families and friends. This workshop shows what the event looks like in the Jewish society. But it is not only about wedding – it touches upon traditions concerning wedding and presents the functioning of a traditional Jewish family – what are the roles of a man and a woman? Each step of the wedding ceremony has a symbolic meaning, the workshop informs about the content and significance of the wedding contract (ketuba), which students try to write themselves, reminds the joyful atmosphere with typical Jewish wedding dances and music. Suitable especially for the higher years of primary school.
Currently, the Culture and Education Centre in Brno offers theatre performance of the KUFR theatre entitled “Židovka aneb žonglování se životem / A Jewess or Juggling with Life”. The play is based on the story of a Jewish girl called Eva, who is transported to Terezín and later to Auschwitz. She escapes from the unpleasant situations to the world of fantasies and through associations she finds herself in the stories of past and future. In her fantasies, juggling is often used as a symbol of freedom and independence. Kufr Theatre attempts to treat the serious matter untraditionally with the use of movement theatre, Jewish music, culture and stage design.
The protagonists themselves say: “We want to acquaint young people with actual life histories of the Holocaust victims, to present them with a story of a girl, who could be their age and live a life similar to theirs, if she wasn’t Jewish and if it wasn’t the year 1941…”
- Theme and direction: Adéla Kratochvílová
- Featuring: Adéla Kratochvílová, Dáša Trávníková
- Music: Lubor Pokluda
- Stage design and costumes: Eva Mesarč Jasičová, Antonín Maloň
- Professional consulting and artistic supervision: Zoja Mikotová, Arnošt Goldflam
Guided tour of the Brno Jewish cemetery, from September to November and from April to July is also on the offer. It can be accompanied by a suitable lecture or workshop in Education and Culture Centre at Kpt. Jaroše 3.
Prize for students is CZK 20 for lectures and study tours and CZK 30 for workshops and theatre performances. Payments for groups are accepted directly before the event.
The above programmes can be booked at:
Education and Culture centre of the Jewish museum in Prague, office in Brno
tř. Kpt. Jaroše 3
602 00 Brno
tel. 544 509 651, 544 509 652, 739 292 424