The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous (JFR) has selected 12 middle and high school teachers and Holocaust center personnel from seven states for its 2006 European Study Program in Germany and Poland. The educators will master advanced techniques for presenting Holocaust education programs in their schools from July 10th- July 23rd.
The program is a high-level, intensive educational experience that includes visits to concentration camps, ghetto sites and Holocaust memorials. Dr. Robert Jan van Pelt, eminent Dutch author and one of the world’s leading experts on Auschwitz, is the accompanying scholar for the European Study Program. The teachers will meet with Holocaust survivors, rescuers, local historians and educators in Germany and Poland.
The program begins with a visit to the center of Munich, Germany, where the group will tour former Nazi party headquarters and several locations that were influential for introducing Nazism. The program ends with four days in Auschwitz / Birkenau, where the group will visit the camps, explore the archives, meet a local rescuer at her home, and experience Friday night Shabbat services and dinner at the synagogue in Oswiecim. The program ends with an opportunity for participants to review and reflect on what they learned during the two weeks.
Teachers selected for the program must be English or social studies teachers at the middle or high school level, have taught at least five years, be at least four years from retirement, and currently teach the Holocaust in their classrooms. They must also be Alfred Lerner Fellows and have completed the JFR’s Summer Institute for Teachers at Columbia University.
“With the unfortunate rise of antisemitism today, particularly in Europe, there has never been a more important time to teach the Holocaust to children,” said JFR Executive Vice President Stanlee Stahl. “By focusing our efforts on helping teachers enhance the classroom experience, it is our hope children will be more responsive and moved by the lessons of this tragic period in world history.
The genesis for this program was the realization that as more states began to mandate the teaching of the Holocaust in their public school curricula, there was a void in resources available to teachers to implement the programs in their classrooms. We designed the program to help educators learn, touch and see the history of the Holocaust so they can present it in a more meaningful and insightful way to their students when they return to their schools.”
The 2006 European Study Lerner Fellows include:
• Kinnan Johnston of John Hopkins Middle School in Clearwater, FL
• Bonnie Powell of Plant City High School in Brandon, FL
• Urszula Szczepinska of Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg, FL
• James Trill of Pioneer Valley Reg. School in Northfield, MA
• Bernard Flashberg of Cranford High School in Union, NJ
• Dale Daniels of Brookdale Community College in Holmdel, NJ
• Jane Denny of The Rumson County Day School in Fair Haven, NJ
• Marjorie Margolis of Conant High School in Sharon, NH
• Kip Altman of Northwest Middle School in Taylors, SC
• Peggy Tennyson of Holocaust Museum in Houston, TX
• Mark Johnson of Seattle Preparatory School in Kirkland, WA
• Freddie Yudin of Ingraham High School in Seattle, WA
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 an internationally lauded Holocaust education program for middle and high school teachers and Holocaust center personnel that preserves the legacy of the rescuers and teaches the history of the Holocaust.