The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous (JFR) has selected 33 educators from 12 states and from two European countries – Croatia and Poland – to be Alfred Lerner Fellows, who will learn about the history of the Holocaust and explore new ways to teach it during a five-day program at Columbia University from June 25-29.
The program is an intensive academic seminar in which participants are exposed to Holocaust survivors such as Roman Kent and to noted Holocaust scholars including Debórah Dwork, Henry Feingold, Michael Phayer, Peter Hayes, Samuel Kassow, Harry Reicher, Simone Schweber, Nechama Tec, Robert Jan van Pelt, and Susan Zuccotti.
The program is designed to allow participants to meet in small groups following each lecture to share teaching concepts and to develop approaches that will help students connect to the subject matter.
Educators selected for the program must be English or social studies teachers at the middle or high school level, must have taught at least five years, must be at least four years from retirement, and must currently teach the Holocaust in their classrooms.
The participants are nominated by Holocaust centers throughout the United States that are part of the JFR’s Holocaust Centers of Excellence Program. International educators were invited to join the program in 2001 at the request of the U.S. State Department, working in conjunction with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Association of Holocaust Organizations.
“We consider all of the participants to be exceptional teachers who have an outstanding commitment to teaching the Holocaust,” said JFR Executive Vice President Stanlee Stahl. “This unique five-day institute was designed as a graduate-level program that provides a necessary professional development opportunity for educators who teach the Holocaust in their classrooms.”
The 2006 Lerner Fellows are:
• Amoreena Brewton of Gulf Shores High School in Gulf Shores, AL
• Angel Helmsing of McGill-Toolen Catholic High School in Mobile, AL
• Bonnie Powell of Plant City High in Brandon, FL
• Jenieff Watson of Northeast High School in St. Petersburg, FL
• William Dyson of Glenbrook Middle School in Wilbraham, MA
• Simon Leutz of Amherst Regional High School in Belchertown, MA
• Marjorie Potash of Shrewsbury High School in Worcester, MA
• Sara Garcia of Hopkins High School in Minneapolis, MN
• Elizabeth Van Pilsum of Minnehaha Academy in St. Paul, MN
• Diane Bush of Jeffrey-Rindge Middle School in Richmond, NH
• Lorraine Jorgensen-Walsh of Mater Dei High School in Middletown, NJ
• Marcelle Mele of Millstone Township Middle School in Bayville, NJ
• Elizabeth Klem of Atlantic County Institute of Technology in Egg Harbor Township, NJ
• Lynn Roberts of Oldmans Township School in Monroeville, NJ
• Bernard Flashberg of Cranford High School in Union, NJ
• Ann McGovern of Orange Avenue School in Cranford, NJ
• Chauncy Cone of Smithtown High School West in East Setauket, NY
• Jerry Richter of Sankofa Academy in Far Rockaway, NY
• Michael Naragon of Winchester Thurston School in Pittsburgh, PA
• Samantha Patty of Holocaust Center of the UJF of Pittsburgh, PA
• Martha Bohnenberger of D.R. Hill Middle School in Pelzer, SC
• William Schaufler of Fort Dorchester High School in Mount Pleasant, SC
• Peggy Tennyson of Holocaust Museum in Houston, TX
• Wendy Warren of Hastings High School in Sugar Land, TX
• Jake Wolfson of The Emery/Weiner School in Houston, TX
• Richard Potash of Bellows Free Academy-Fairfax in Fairfield, VT
• Stephen Bernard of Central Valley High School in Spokane Valley, WA
• Nicholas Coddington of Charles Wright Academy in Olympia, WA
• Zofia Bielecka of Copernicus High School in Lublin, Poland
• Marcin Pasnikowski of Polish Nobel Prize Winners Junior High School in Swidnik, Poland
• Monika Witalis-Malinowska of 7th Civic Gymnasium in Krakow, Poland
• Drazenka Polovic of Secondary School for Economy and Tourism in Karlovac, Poland
• Helena Strugar of Gimnazija Lucijana Vranjanina in Zagreb, Croatia
The fellowship program is named in memory of Alfred Lerner, the founding chairman and chief executive officer of MBNA Corporation, who died in October of 2002. Lerner was a long-time advisor and supporter of the JFR. His deep commitment to the work of the JFR and his special interest in Holocaust education led to the program being named in his honor.
The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous was created in 1986 to provide financial assistance to non-Jews who risked their lives and often the lives of their families to rescue Jews during the Holocaust. Today, the JFR supports more than 1,400 aged and needy rescuers in 28 countries. The Foundation also runs a national education program that preserves the legacy of the rescuers and teaches the history of the Holocaust.