Holocaust Remembrance Day Frames Classroom Learning
Today, we observe Holocaust Remembrance Day: an international day of remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust. It is observed on January 27th, the date of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. On this day, people around the world come together to remember the victims of the Holocaust and to honor those who survived.
It is important to recognize the relevance of these days for today. Despite the progress that has been made since the time of the Holocaust, antisemitism is still a problem in our world. These days provide an opportunity to come together to remember the victims and to work towards eliminating hatred and prejudice in our society.
Scheck Hillel students commemorated the day in various ways. To examine the subject from a cross-cultural perspective, Grade 11 students in Scheck Hillel's Modern Jewish History course are partnering with peers at the Maimonide School in Paris to share experiences, ask questions and develop insights for combating antisemitism. The project, titled "Being a Jew in 2023, Paris vs. Miami" kicked off this week, with students introducing themselves to their French peers on video and via a live Zoom session. The two groups "clicked" immediately and couldn't contain their excitement about meeting each other live. Scheck Hillel faculty members who designed and teach the project are Dr. Hana Barouk and Yaakov Boyd. The Maimonide faculty partner is none other than Mme. Ruth Roumani, our own Dr. Barouk's mother, who has taught at Maimonide for 20 years. Their dialogue will continue with interviews, learning and friendship.
Class of '23 girls conducted tefilah this morning highlighting the role Irena Sendler played in rescuing Jewish children during the Holocaust. Senior Joelle Kirsch recounted that Sendler was a Polish nurse with access to the Warsaw Ghetto, from where she bravely smuggled out 2,500 Jewish children. For her courage, Israel recognized her as "Righteous Among the Nations," an honor bestowed upon non-Jewish individuals who risked their own lives to save Jews.
As today is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, Middle School grades learned facts about the camp - from its geographic location to its liberation by the Russian army in 1947.
As Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel said, “In a free society, some are guilty, but all are responsible.” We must all work together to ensure that the atrocities of the Holocaust are never repeated. As parents, we can teach our children the importance of compassion, understanding, and respect, so that they can help create a better world for all.