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, Ben, and AronMax and Ben were inspired to write an essay after meeting with Aron, an Auschwitz survivor. The following is an excerpt from their thought-provoking and empathetic piece.

This is the story of an amazing man whose perseverance willed him to survive tougher times than anyone could imagine. Aron was born in July of 1926 in the country of Poland. Aron, who was born in Dukla, lived with his parents and was one of nine children. When he was two and a half years old, he and his family moved to Szczakowa. Growing up he enjoyed school as he lived walking distance from a Polish public school. Due to the fact that he was Jewish, Aron wore payas, which made him a victim of bullying. One time when he wore his yamaka to school, his peers took notice and picked on Aron, just because of what he was wearing on his head. However, he also attended Hebrew school, where he and other people in the Jewish community were able to learn without having to be worried about others making fun of them because of their faith. Walking to and from his long and hard hours of school each day, Aron practically had no free time. However, Aron had the distinct privilege of becoming a Bar Mitzvah at the age of 13 in July of 1939. But, shortly after, the war began.

Download and read more of Max and Ben's essay.

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.