By Stephanie Smartschan
JFLV Director of Marketing
For years, the Jewish Federation’s Holocaust Resource Center has been bringing Holocaust education into local high schools through its Legacy Exhibit.
Now, thanks to the generosity of donors at last year’s Mortimer S. Schiff Memorial Golf Tournament, that program will be broadening its reach.
“The exhibit that we have for the high schools is so mature and frank in terms of what we present, and it’s also passive,” said Shari Spark, Holocaust Resource Center coordinator. “We were looking for something to take into middle schools that is more interactive and better fits their curriculum.”
To accomplish this, Spark plans to create a series of dioramas in suitcases that would each represent some aspect of the Holocaust, whether a person’s life or a time period or event.
“A classroom project could then be built around the materials in the suitcases,” she said.
At last year’s tournament, players and dinner guests had the opportunity to “bid” on packages that would bring prejudice reduction programs into schools. In addition to funding the middle school exhibit, that money is also being used on upcoming high school programs.
The Holocaust Resource Center ran a workshop for 40 teachers at Bangor High School in February before bringing in a program for the students, Spark said. On March 3, the exhibit will travel to a community center at Lehigh University for an afterschool program with underprivileged students. The students will also hear from a local Holocaust survivor.
Each spring, programs are brought into 10 to 12 schools, Spark said.
“It is clear that when students see this exhibit and meet a survivor and broaden these stories to present day situations, they are better equipped to stand up to prejudice in their own lives,” Spark said.
The Mortimer S. Schiff Memorial Golf Tournament brings together people of all faiths in support of tolerance and prejudice reduction. The fifth annual tournament will be held Monday, June 20, 2016, at Lehigh Country Club. For more information, visit www.jewishlehighvalley.org/golf.