Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Holocaust Education Workshop Coincides w/ Kristallnacht

This year on Kristallnacht, the anniversary of the start of the Holocaust, I find myself in the middle of a multi-day workshop put on by the Anti-Defamation League of LA for educators. We have had sessions at the Museum of Tolerance, the new LA Museum of the Holocaust (pictured), and the American Jewish University. Since I’m planning to be a volunteer docent at the LA Museum of the Holocaust, I thought I would take the course and continue my own education for research for the An Unbroken Chain film project and my volunteer efforts. We aim for An Unbroken Chain to be a tool for these educators and understanding the challenges and nuances of designing a film that can be used in the classroom has been very useful.

Sunday I looked around the packed room of almost one hundred educators with awe. Some people had flown in all the way from the East Coast and some had driven up from communities as far as Orange County, to better themselves as teachers. We spent about eight hours in classes that day, grueling sessions where some of the top experts in the country presented material while providing countless resources, ideas and support. It was a testimony to their dedication – giving up personal time with their families to learn about the Holocaust and its lessons for themselves and their students.

We will receive special teaching certificates on our last day tomorrow, and some of the participants might receive an extra increase in their point/pay system, but I don’t know if anyone will really ever give them the recognition they deserve for their efforts. I am really grateful for their dedication to preserving these stories and sharing them with the next generation. As we all know, we will be relying on teachers like these in the next fifteen to twenty years as our precious Holocaust Survivors age and retire from speaking. I look forward to working with these teachers and their schools again in the future through my museum connection and when our project comes to fruition.

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