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Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Nahariya, Sea of Galilee, and surrounding areas, Israel

Program Description

This course focuses on trying to explain human behavior during the Holocaust. In this course, we will explore how different psychological theories attempt to explain the human cruelty experienced in the Holocaust.

Specifically, we will critically examine the behavior of the perpetrators, victims, and bystanders. Although we will focus on the Holocaust, we will examine other genocides and conflicts as well. During our travels, we will witness how the Holocaust (and its aftermath) has impacted Israeli society.

Location Description

Our program will begin in the coastal town of Nahariya, a port of entry for refugees from the Holocaust. From there we will study and tour other areas of Israel's northern region as we visit the Ghetto Fighter's Kibbutz, founded by the Holocaust survivors who were the last remaining survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. We will also visit Atlit, a former British detention facility which housed fleeing Holocaust survivors. 

We will spend time in Tel Aviv, Israel’s largest city, hearing the story of the founding of Israel and its connections to the events in Europe. We will hear from leading experts studying the effects on second generation Holocaust survivors and even plan on meeting Holocaust survivors. 

We will then explore the city of Jerusalem including a special tour of the Old City. While there, we will visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Via Dolorosa. We will also visit Yad VaShem, Israel's national memorial and museum to the Holocaust. From firsthand accounts, we will learn about efforts to track down Nazi war criminals. 

We will travel south and will ascend Masada, the Judean desert fortress, swim in the Dead Sea (the lowest body of water on the surface of the earth) and hike the beautiful Ein Gedi nature reserve. 

Other highlights include visiting Christian sites in Galilee including Campernaum and MUCH more.


Kevin Apple | | Psychology


Students will stay in a variety of hotels throughout the trip. All hotels will be centrally located, and will include internet access. Students will be in shared triple rooms.

Breakfast and one other meal will be provided each day. The breakfasts will be provided by the hotel. Students should plan to spend their own money to cover the one meal per day not provided.

Additional Items to Consider

A detailed itinerary will be available before we depart. WiFi will be readily available, but students should consider renting an international cell phone or changing their phone plan to work internationally.

This program is ideal for anyone interested in learning more about the Holocaust. Students from the following majors may be particularly interested: Psychology, Sociology, History, Philosophy & Religion.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0

Prerequisites: PSYC 101 or PSYC 160

All majors and class levels are welcome

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($25 fee)
  • Short essay 
  • Resume
  • Interview with Program Director may be required
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU and first semester transfer students.

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in. 

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


PSYC 200: Topics in Psychology: Holocaust in Israel (3 credits)

PSYC 400: Advanced Topics in Psychology: Holocaust in Israel (3 credits)

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.


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