San Diego - Sha'ar HaNegev Teacher Exchange
Yad Vashem, Valley of the Communities

tall walls of Jerusalem stone
pale orange, white, rust,
rough cut, big as bathtubs
cicadas hum
in a rectangle of sunlight
and green Jerusalem forest
above, a space of hope
feet crunch on gravel
where I sit at Budapest
wishing I knew the words
the Kaddish

Sima, our guide, said,
My grandfather and father
I am named after my aunt
Who didn't.
My Aunt Sima died at 15
Because she chose to stay
With her mother
In their village
My father, at 13, chose
To go with his father,
East, where the Russians
Told them they'd be returned
To their villages.
Instead, they were sent to Siberia,
Which saved them.
The men made their way
To Israel.

Melissa McKinstry

"burnt offering,"
in Hebrew-Shoah.

"Where books are burned,
human beings are also
destined to be burned."

-Heinrich Heine, poet, 1820

Berlin, May 10, 1933
Nazis organized burning of
"banned" books throughout Germany.

For more information

Welcome to Vad Vashem on the Internet - - Provides tons of information on Yad Vashem, the Holocaust-Shoah, Remembrance, collections and resources, education, research and publications, and the Righteous Among the Nations.

Simon Wiesenthal Center Multimedia Learning Center Online - - Provides a comprehensive resource on the Holocaust and WWII, virtual exhibits, a teacher's resource center, special collections from the Institute of Documentation in Israel, and more.

Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) - Teaching Tolerance - - A national education project dedicated to helping teachers foster equity, respect, and understanding in the classroom and beyond.

The following are links to sketches and personal narratives created during our travels

Collaboration | David Ben-Gurion's Negev and a Bedouin Camp |
Druze Village | Golan Heights | Jerusalem | Kiryat Shmona |
Misgav-Am | Zippori

Photos | Program Goals | WriteDesign Gallery |
E-Mail Doug at and Melissa at