May 19, 2024
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May 19, 2024
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JKHA Produces Holocaust Documentary With ‘Names, Not Numbers©’

Students in the eighth grade at the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy have learned about the Holocaust in the classroom, but nothing has compared to what they learned throughout this past year participating in the “Names, Not Numbers©” program where they each interviewed and filmed Holocaust survivors, recording their stories for posterity.

This oral history film project take the teaching of the Holocaust well beyond the classroom. Throughout the year-long project, the students were guided by professionals in their fields—Ken Kurson, skilled journalist and former editor-in-chief of the New York Observer; Jarrod Hurwitz, a noted filmmaker; and Debbie Finkelstein, JKHA principal—to learn proper interview and filming techniques as well as to explore the concepts of faith and belief.

Working in small groups, using the skills they learned, students interviewed and filmed eight Holocaust survivors. The school thanks Bruno Bank, Clara Fisher, Martha Seiler Klein, Frima Gleiser Laub, Lee Lichtman, Eva Nelson, Lea Roth and Sara Weiner, for taking the time to be interviewed by the students for this important project.

The project culminated in a community movie screening with a packed house at the school, featuring the survivors’ stories, edited by the students, woven together into a documentary produced by the professional videographer who followed the students throughout the year. Many of the survivors were in attendance and the students had a private program with them beforehand.

“It was an incredibly powerful experience to go through the process with these students,” commented Finkelstein. “To experience these survivors’ stories through the eyes of 13 and 14 year old was moving, and I couldn’t be prouder of these students for the level of respect that they showed the survivors. They truly understood and embodied the importance of the program.”

“Names, Not Numbers INC©” is an interactive, multimedia Holocaust oral history film documentary project created by educator, Tova Rosenberg. For information email: [email protected]

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