June 13, 2024
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Moriah Begins ‘Names, Not Numbers©’

After months of classroom preparation as well as training in filmmaking and interview techniques, Moriah’s eighth grade “Names, Not Numbers© participants spent the week of January 3, conducting the interviews with their survivors that will become the focus of their upcoming documentary to be premiered in May. Due to Covid concerns and in an effort to ensure the continued well-being of the elderly guests, this year’s interviews took place at Congregation Ahavath Torah rather than at Moriah, and on their respective interview days, students split their time between school and the shul. The students were accompanied by Moriah teacher Rachel Schwartz; program coordinator and former Moriah parent Abby Herschmann; and the parent mentors for each group. Six of the seven interviews were conducted in person, with only one interview on Zoom, and all of the survivors mesmerized the students with their stories of suffering, survival, faith and resilience.

The students took turns operating the cameras and asking the questions, and had a chance to reflect on the experience at the conclusion of each session. Mid-week, the entire eighth grade met with Rabbi Zev Reichman for a discussion on emunah, a very relevant presentation given the heart-rending tales that students were hearing each day. All of the “Names, Not Numbers©” participants left their interviews with a renewed sense of pride in their Jewish identity, with a greater measure of awe and respect for the survivors, and with a strengthened commitment to ensuring that the survivors’ stories live on for generations to come.

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