, a Latin American ROI member, created a project giving high school students (and the greater population) an opportunity to learn about contemporary issues in human rights injustices through the historic lens of the Holocaust. As of the end of 2011, Samuel has presented to a total of 9,000 students in Uruguay, Brazil, and Colombia
. Each classroom visit entails a two-hour interactive presentation by two specially trained, young educators who cover the topics of Nazism, social injustice, and how the lessons of the Holocaust can be applied to the injustices of today’s world. In Samuel’s words, his hope is to “provide young people an educational and humanistic message that leads them to reflect on the lessons of the past… In that sense, the Holocaust is an important source of education about universal values, social dilemmas and problems that touch the very essence of human nature.”
In recognition of his work, Samuel was recently written up in Arutz Sheva
on Yom Hashoa, April 19, 2012: http://www.inn.co.il/News/News.aspx/236753
Meli Goldfinger (center, right of holocaust survivor) with the group of girls who participated in her program.
Also based in Latin America, ROIer Melisa Goldfinger
carried out a project in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her work involved engaging religious Jewish girls in a rigorous study of Jewish life before, during, and after the Holocaust. Her presentation included multiple forms of media, as well as an address from a survivor. Meli set out to encourage and empower participants to teach about the holocaust acknowledging that they need not be experts in the field in order to provide valuable and meaningful content to those who will carry on the story into their generation.
Adriana Elena Dumitrescu is a school principal in Bralia, Romania. Since 2004, she has taught lessons on Jewish History and the Holocaust, both to secondary school and high school students through lessons conducted either in special courses, optional courses, or in thematic workshops. While she concedes that the Holocaust is a sensitive and difficult subject for students, in particular for non-Jewish students, she continues to educate based its moral implications. As she explains, “marginalization, exclusion of a community under false principles, unilateral, willfully inoculated by political and religious authorities over time, can lead to tragedies that escape control. It is important to understand the lessons of history.”
If you’re interested in establishing a Holocaust remembrance project in your community, reach out to Samuel, Melisa, or Adriana for possible assistance (for example, vital tips, materials or other information). Consider which of the three is most relevant to you based on region or the type of programs they have run, including who was/is their target audience.
Let's keep alive the lessons of the Holocaust and the memory of those who perished.