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.
Max speaks a great deal about his experiences during the Holocaust as he feels it is an obligation to participate and tell his story. Both Aviva and Shoshana have heard survivors speak and have found them meaningful. However, all three concurred that this program elevated the experience to a new level by allowing the participants to engage in intimate dialogues.
Shoshana, who drew a beautiful portrait of Max, felt that she could always ask questions and could in turn see which parts of his story were the most important to him. Shoshana "would love to continue knowing [Max]. This was a very rewarding experience … that I will remember forever."
Aviva told the audience that she didn't know what to expect when they first met. She wasn't sure if this experience would be different than the other times she heard survivors, but "it totally was, in an amazing way … what really struck me was that you learn both about the story, which was incredibly inspiring, and you learn about the person and that was even more inspiring."
Max agreed and shared, "This program was a pleasure, but it was really more than a pleasure. It was the satisfaction of seeing the continuing of Jewish life. The intimate discussion was most important to me and it was a very nice learning experience."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 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.