Antisemitism is growing in our country and with events like the recent hostage situation at a synagogue in Colleyville, TX, our children often are exposed to disturbing news. How do we talk to them about antisemitism and the Holocaust in age-appropriate ways?

Books can be a great way to start that conversation. The best way to do this is to choose stories that promote positive character values for children. That way children can develop an internal understanding before they begin to formally learn about antisemitism and the Holocaust.

According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, elementary school can be “an ideal place to begin discussing the value of diversity and the danger of bias and prejudice. These critical themes can be addressed through local and national historical events and can be reinforced during later study of the Holocaust.”

When moving into books about the Holocaust and antisemitism, it is important that parents do the following:

  • Think about their own child’s moral development; age, emotional and cognitive capacity.
  • Pre-read the book to decide if it is appropriate and if it should be read to the child in its entirety or just a portion of it.
  • Start slowly.

Here is a list of books that educate children on tolerance, ordered by grade.

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The Associated Contributors

The Associated Contributors are writers from The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore.