April 20, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
April 20, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Golda Och Academy Students Bear Witness

On Tuesday, May 16, Golda Och Academy (GOA) 10th grade students will honor six Holocaust survivors during the culminating event for their Holocaust education studies, Bearing Witness, at Temple Beth Shalom in Livingston at 7:30 p.m. Bearing Witness will feature the documentary film premiere of “Names, Not Numbers©” as well as the final project of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest’s Class Adopt a Survivor program. The two projects document the inspirational stories of Esther Gever, Mark Schonwetter, Noemi Spitz, Tibor Spitz, Hanna Wechsler and Elizabeth Wilf.

“As a Jewish day school, we have a responsibility to teach the lessons of the Holocaust to the next generation,” said Erin Sternthal, Holocaust Education coordinator at Golda Och Academy. “We are fortunate that through our partnership with the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest and the support of organizations such as the Mark Schonwetter Holocaust Education Foundation, we are able to expand our Holocaust studies and give our students the opportunity to meet Holocaust survivors firsthand to document their stories through film, art and literature.”

As part of a new 10th grade Holocaust curriculum, students completed a series of courses on the Holocaust taught by Ilyse Shainbrown, director of Holocaust Education at the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest. Students then selected one of two projects providing a human dimension to the lessons of the Holocaust: “Names, Not Numbers©” or Class Adopt a Survivor.

“Names, Not Numbers©” is an intergenerational oral history film project that transforms the traditional study of the Holocaust into an experiential program. Created by award-winning educator Tova Fish-Rosenberg, this year will mark GOA’s sixth year participating in the project that allows students to create an emotional connection to history. The project also enables students to work with professional filmmakers and journalists to learn valuable interviewing, filming and editing skills. In addition to the student-created documentary, a professional filmmaker documents the students’ journey throughout the process and incorporates all of the survivors’ stories in a final documentary film.

Class Adopt a Survivor is a program designed by the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest to preserve and perpetuate the incredible and inspirational stories of Holocaust survivors. Through this program, students become familiar with a Holocaust survivor’s life before, during and after the war to create a project that tells the survivor’s story and pledges to continue to tell their story in the years to come.

“There are few topics that connect our students so powerfully to the history of their family, of our people, and of the unfolding challenges of antisemitism and war in our day,” said Rabbi Danny Nevins, head of school of Golda Och Academy. “Shoah education at GOA allows our students to ‘get real,’ and connect book learning with compelling personal histories. We are certain that the impact of this program will be long lasting and beneficial as our students confront challenges in the decades ahead.”

Bearing Witness is free and open to the community. To RSVP, visit www.goldaochacademy.org/programs/high-school/bearing-witness.

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles