Natalie Portman (file)
Natalie Portman (file)Thinkstock

It's time for the Jewish community to shift focus away from the Holocaust, American-Israeli actress Natalie Portman opined Friday, stating that such focus has detracted from atrocities committed around the world.  

“I think a really big question the Jewish community needs to ask itself, is how much at the forefront we put Holocaust education," Portman stated in an interview with the British Independent. "Which is, of course, an important question to remember and to respect, but not over other things."

Portman revealed that her views stemmed from her learning about the Rwandan Genocide. 

"I was shocked that that [genocide] was going on while I was in school," she said. "We were learning only about the Holocaust and it was never mentioned and it was happening while I was in school."

"That is exactly the type of problem with the way it’s taught," she continued. "I think it needs to be taught, and I can’t speak for everyone because this was my personal education."

“We need to be reminded that hatred exists at all times and reminds us to be empathetic to other people that have experienced hatred also," Portman urged. "Not used as a paranoid way of thinking that we are victims."

"Sometimes it can be subverted to fear-mongering and like ‘Another Holocaust is going to happen’," she added. 

Portman was born in Jerusalem; her family emigrated to the US when she was three years-old, where she would later attend American Jewish schools. 

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)