Links in the Chain

Elie Wiesel Bearing Witness Reflection Activity

Tags: Holocaust, Memory, Resources, History, Elie Wiesel

By Dr. Elana Yael Heideman

Based on the words of Elie Wiesel, author, teacher, survivor of the Holocaust and voice for humanity, at his speech before the United Nations. This reflection activity encourages exploration of individual elements of the lessons of memory as passed down by one of the masters of Jewish history who witnessed firsthand the horrors and the hope of Jewish life in a modern world.

This activity can be run with large or small groups - for Yom HaShoah or any time of year. Discussion can be as long as time allows. Can be followed by one of our activities.


  • What do you know about Elie Wiesel?
  • Why should everyone know his name and story?
  • How do you feel as you hear his words?
  • What do you think he felt standing in front of the United Nations and making this speech? 
  • What was the most powerful sentence that you remember from his speech?
  • Do you think others should hear this speech? Why or why not?
  • Elie Wiesel was a Torah scholar among other things. How do you feel his love for Judaism and his strong Jewish identity influenced his purpose in life after surviving the Holocaust? 
  • What do you interpret as a crucial lesson Elie Wiesel is sharing?
  • What is a lesson you will share to join Elie Wiesel in bearing witness? 

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About the Author

Dr.  Elana Yael Heideman
Dr. Elana Yael Heideman, Executive Director of The Israel Forever Foundation, is a dynamic and passionate educator who works creatively and collaboratively in developing content and programming to deepen and activate the personal connection to Israel for Diaspora Jews. Elana’s extensive experience in public speaking, educational consulting and analytic research and writing has served to advance her vision of Israel-inspired Jewish identity that incorporates the relevance of the Holocaust, Antisemitism and Zionism to contemporary issues faced throughout the Jewish world in a continuous effort to facilitate dialogue and build bridges between the past, present and future.

Tags: Holocaust, Memory, Resources, History, Elie Wiesel