Posted by Elyse Rast

Legacies: High School Visits is the only program of its kind in New England. A cohort of 9th-12th graders learn about the Holocaust by meeting with a survivor three times over the course of the year and creating a meaningful project together.

Olivia, Shira, and YvetteYvette, a Holocaust survivor, speaks a great deal about her past because she feels it is important to do so even though it is always difficult. Talking to large groups of people without the opportunity to receive feedback or follow-up makes it even more challenging. It's also tough for her to know whether or not sharing her story has made an impact on her audience. When she met Shira and Olivia, Yvette remarked that it was "instant love at first sight." She was impressed with their questions, their depth of knowledge, and "how much they wanted to learn." Yvette also shared that she felt confident Shira and Olivia would help ensure people remember the Holocaust so that it "won't happen again."

Yvette and her collageFor their project, Yvette, Shira, and Olivia made a shadow box together. Yvette found the experience outstanding and felt the end result was "fabulous." When asked to talk about the project, Olivia stated, "Our shadow box incorporates collaged images of our favorite quotations, our personal lives, and pictures that deeply resonate with our identities. Yvette, Shira, and I collaborated on this project with the intention to show how the seemingly different lives of three women can still connect and intertwine through this artwork. After our hours spent together, the three of us discovered that we are not so different from each other after all! This project carries a special place in my heart because it is a physical representation of all the memories the three of us shared during the Legacies: High School Visits program."

If you are a high school student who would like to participate in the program for the 2015-2016 school year, please contact me at or 781-693-1201. Applications are due by October 12, 2015.

JF&CS Schechter Holocaust Services is made possible by the generous support of the Claims Conference and the Dorot Foundation.

Elyse RastElyse Rast is the Manager of Outreach and Education for Schechter Holocaust Services. For the past 20 years Elyse has taught children ranging in ages from 3-18 and specializes in Holocaust education. Currently, Elyse runs Jewish teenage empowerment classes at Prozdor Hebrew High School and is working on her PhD in Education at Lesley University. Elyse has two kids and two cats and lives in Westwood.