Following an eight-hour flight, 12 New Milford High School students arrived in Berlin, Germany on their first stop of the school’s annual Eastern European Holocaust Education Trip. The students, accompanied by Colleen Tambuscio, President of the NJ Council of Holocaust Educators and a Special Ed. teacher at New Milford High, spend two weeks visiting Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic. They even stop in Plasow every year and clean the kever of Sarah Schneirer, who founded the first Beis Yaakov in Krakow, Poland.
The trip is funded by donations from the general public, lasts two weeks, and offers students the opportunity to blog about their trip as they experience it. The link is hst10.blogspot.com.
Tambuscio’s students all learn about the Wolf family in Salvaged Pages, a book filled with diary pages written by young people that Tambuscio uses in all her classes. Fifteen-year-old Otto Wolf wrote about how his family hid from the Nazis for three years while living underground in the forest of Trisce. When the students visited the site in the Czech Republic, they decided to create a memorial to the family. Last year, after many years of working through the red tape, Tambuscio’s students got the funding, built and dedicated a memorial to the Wolf family, and made a documentary about that trip.
Ms. Tambuscio came to New Milford after the Board of Education lost a suit filed by a family whose son was the victim of repeated acts of anti-Semitism at the school. The school is now one of the leaders in Holocaust education in the state, offering classroom instruction, field trips to local resource centers and museums, as well as the trip to Europe.