Witness to History-Russian Outreach

Holocaust Awareness Museum and Education Center

Contact: Jacqueline Cherepinsky, psujvc130@gmail.com, 215-464-4701

Witness to History
Russian Outreach, Ongoing Until Mid-November, 2014, Philadelphia, PA

The Klein JCC is partnering with the Holocaust Awareness Museum and Education Center in a Witness to History Project. This is a presentation, in which Russian-speaking students, along with their parents, “adopt” a survivor from the former Soviet Union by learning his or her unique account via listening to the survivor’s story. Each student will then write about the survivor’s experience. And all the finished essays will be placed into a book.

This is an opportunity for the students and their parents to hear survivor testimonies firsthand and literally become “witnesses to history.” Each participant will have the lifelong job of educating others about the Holocaust by sharing the personal narrative, an imperative task now that Holocaust survivors are aging and in failing health. This project will also ensure that Russian-speaking students will keep the stories “alive,” thus, preventing Russian-Jewish Holocaust survivors’ testimonies from becoming just another page in a history textbook.  There are a few spots available for English-speaking students.

This project is a fantastic resume builder since it requires research as well as writing and public speaking skills. Many schools districts require students to conduct volunteer work and this completed project gives volunteer hours to the participating students. This is also a great addition to college applications. Each student will receive letters of recognition from the President of the Klein JCC as well as the Holocaust Awareness Museum. In addition, there will be a ceremony where the participating students will each receive an award.