July 19, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
July 19, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

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

MDS Hosts Community-Wide Screening of ‘Names, Not Numbers©’: A Movie in the Making

Stories were shared, tears were shed, yet hope and belief emerged. This was the theme of the event at Manhattan Day School on Thursday night, as over 300 guests viewed a screening of the Holocaust documentary, “Names Not Numbers©”: A Movie in the Making. The film featured the stories of seven Holocaust survivors, Herman Bienstock, Bronia Brandman, Reini Hanau, Robert Lindenblatt, Rachel Roth, Rene Slotkin and Daniel Welner, and was researched, filmed, edited and produced by MDS eighth graders over the course of the year.

Actor Liam Neeson (who played Oskar Schindler in the Oscar-winning film, “Schindler’s List”), greeted the students personally and commented on the importance of their work in canonizing the stories of these survivors. Director Steven Spielberg sent a congratulatory note to the class, sharing his inspiration from “these students in their outreach and compassion. They have shown us that this and future generations will not stand aside when they have a chance to tell a story that can make a difference for the good of all of us.”

Through participating in “Names, Not Numbers©,” created by Tova Fish-Rosenberg, eighth grade students gained a genuine and empathetic understanding of the survivors by eliciting their unique experiences. The resulting Holocaust documentary provides greater insights into the lives of the survivors, the conduct of the perpetrators and the heroism of so many Jews and righteous Gentiles. As eighth grader Benjy Hild shared, “the experience put [his] everyday problems into better perspective.”

“In the years to come, we won’t be able to hear the stories from the survivors themselves,” says eighth grader Cailey Erber. “It’s important for us to pass on their stories to ensure that this never happens again.”

“‘The Names, Not Numbers©” program is a highlight of our eighth grade Holocaust curriculum,” says Judith Melzer, associate principal and Holocaust seminar instructor. “It is essential for us to remember the past and invest in the future.” Her words were echoed by Head of School Raizi Chechik. “In hearing these voices of bravery, of wisdom and of faith, our students become the bearers of the powerful legacy the survivors bequeath to us.”

The documentary will be archived for future generations in the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem, Yad Vashem and in the Yeshiva University libraries.

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles