Shem Olam Faith & the Holocaust Institute for Education, Documentation & Research

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"Roots" observation space, is a unique learning experience. In the hall where artefacts, artistic works and documents are on display, groups of students, teachers and family groups observe, study and discuss the objects relating to the Jewish Home and talk about the feeling of Jewish identity then and now. All exhibits, personal items and works of art on display, face the charred Torah scroll positioned on the root of a tree, a symbol of Jewish survival. These items were taken by a group of Jews and Jewish individuals on deportation from their homes or produced in places they arrived at. They were found in death camps, in hiding and in the hands of strangers. The owner of the Siddur (prayer book) engraved in blood his demand for revenge , a member of a youth movement was murdered in Chelmno with his community and his movement pin was found in the death pits, and a painting created by a hungry artist who chose to paint it with food saved from his mouth. Testimonies of Holocaust survivors, reflecting strength of mind and spirit are laid out on wooden tables. The translated documents enable each visitor to the exhibition to take on the role of researcher and historian. Through interactive visual activities, each visitor is exposed to information, photographs and stories which form a chronological narrative.
This is an encounter that incorporates joint study and explores in depth the levels of Jewish identity, human spirit, morality, and the power and influence of the light emerging from the darkness.