In these two back-to-back lessons, students will explore Jewish values, Jewish identity, and the question of how to balance their ethnic/religious identities with being a citizen of the world. Students will watch Centropa's film, Survival in Sarajevo: Friendship in a Time of War - the powerful story of how a small group of Holocaust survivors and their children worked with their Christian and Muslim neighbors to save each other and their city during the Bosnian war of the early 1990s. This story of multiethnic cooperation provides an opportunity for students to discuss the nature of community and Jewish values as exemplified in the Tanakh, Talmud and other rabbinic texts. Those teaching in non-Jewish contexts can find a version of this lesson that raises the same questions and explores civic values by searching for "civics," and "Sarajevo" in the Teaching Materials section of this website.
You do not need to know the very complicated details of the Bosnian conflict, or the history of the Jews in the Balkans, in order to teach them. At the same time, you can refer to the fact sheet with basic background information and links to maps and other sources for reference.