For a decade or more, our high school boys have been on the receiving end of programs in Holocaust education. In History class, in Jewish History class, each and every Yom Ha-Sho'ah, and undoubtedly at a variety of other times throughout the year, they hear stories and accounts of what it was like to be a Jew in Europe during World War II. And so it should be. There is much to learn and, as we all know, the downloading process from those who witnessed the events is a race against the clock.
But, we decided that for our boys high school this year we wanted to do something a little different. Instead of receiving, we wanted them to experience the act of giving. Instead of continuing to transmit the history and lessons of our people only within the context of our own community, we wanted them to feel the importance and the power of sharing the messages of Yom Ha-Sho'ah with the larger community within which we live. So, under the leadership of Mrs. Kutliroff, our boys spent their Yom Ha-Shoah in the classrooms of White Station Middle School, running Holocaust workshops with small groups of students, culminating with a presentation by descendants of survivors who shared their own family history with their new "students" and friends.
The reviews from both the givers and the receivers suggest that this may well have been a program which neither side will ever forget.