FALL 2015 - 5776

Dear Holocaust Educators,
Pennsylvania's Act 70 -- Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Violations Instruction -- is now being implemented. Intermediate Units in the Commonwealth will hold workshops throughout the 2015-16 school year and the summer of 2016 to introduce educators to the legislation's guidelines. Most will include an additional professional development opportunity with a nationally recognized educational organization. Teachers may contact their IU directly to find out about scheduled workshops or explore the Pennsylvania Department of Education's (PDE) online portal for an overview of guidelines, in-service schedule and evolving list of vetted resources.
We encourage you to join the Act 70 professional learning community on the PDE website: http://pdesas.org/.
This is just the beginning!
Josey G. Fisher
Holocaust Education Consultant

Sunday, November 8, 7:30 p.m.
Hiway Theater, 212 York Road, Jenkintown
In 1969, a young concert violinist living within the confines of her Lithuanian Soviet community and with her brutal memories of the Nazi massacre in Kovno is plagued by guilt and nightmares with the prospect of marriage. Russian and Lithuanian with English subtitles; 115 minutes. Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival; for details and tickets, see http://pjff.org/gitel/
Forbidden Films
Monday, November 9, 7:30 p.m.
International House, 3701 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia
Over 1,200 feature films were made during the Nazi era under the aegis of Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels; 40 of these are still banned. Director Felix Moeller grapples with the question of whether these films should be released and includes extensive clips.
Special guests include film scholar Noah Isenberg, film critic Nora Mandel and historian Dr. Thomas Childers. German, French, Hebrew and English with English subtitles; 94 minutes. Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival; for details and tickets, see http://pjff.org/forbidden-films/ 
A Blind Hero: The Love of Otto Weidt
Thursday, November 12, 7:30 p.m.
Ritz East, 125 South 2nd Street, Philadelphia

Powerful docudrama based on the true story of the German businessman who used his factory to try to save dozens of Berlin Jews, most of whom - like him - were blind. He continued his efforts throughout the war and later established an orphanage for camp survivors. Based largely on the memories and eyewitness account of his young secretary whom he helped survive, Inge Deutschkron, the acclaimed German-Jewish writer. German with English subtitles; 90 minutes. Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival; for details and tickets, see http://pjff.org/a-blind-hero-the-love-of-otto-weidt/
A Nazi Legacy: What Our Fathers Did
November 13-19
Ritz at the Bourse, 400 Ranstead Street, Philadelphia

Thought-provoking account of the relationship between two men, both sons of high-ranking Nazi officials, revealing sharply contrasting attitudes toward their fathers and the toll of inherited guilt.  96 minutes.

To Life! ( La Vie)
Sunday, November 15, 7:30 p.m.
Reel Cinemas Narberth 2, 129 N. Narberth Avenue, Narberth
Three young women, who helped each other survive Auschwitz, reunite 15 years later in a French beach town, attaining respite from their usual lives and sharing intimate stories, while helping each other come to terms with their tragic experiences during the war. French with English subtitles; 104 minutes. Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival; for details and tickets, see http://pjff.org/to-life-a-la-vie/ 


"Representation of the Holocaust in Early Hollywood Films"
Speaker: Dr. Lawrence Baron, San Diego State University
Wednesday, November 4, 7:30 p.m.
Sykes Theater, West Chester University
A Holocaust and Genocide Studies Event. For information, contact Jonathan Friedman: jfriedman@wcupa.edu
The Survivor: An Anatomy of Life in the Death Camps by Terrence
Des Pres - 40th Anniversary Symposium in Memoriam of Des Pres and his legacy in Holocaust and genocide studies.
Wednesday, November 4, 4-8 p.m.
Kelly Writers House, University of Pennsylvania, 3805 Locust Walk, Arts Cafe
RSVP to wh@writing.upenn.edu or call 215.746.POEM

Some Unfinished Business of Nostra Aetate: Jewish and Christian Challenges
Speaker: Rabbi Dr. Eugene Korn, Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation in Israel
Wednesday, November 4, 7-8:30 p.m.
Haub Executive Suite, McShain Hall - 5th Floor, Saint Joseph's University
Fifty years after the revolution begun by Nostra Aetate, Judaism remains challenged to develop an accurate sympathetic understanding of Christianity and the Church has not yet come to grips with the Jewish people's return to Zion and the nature of their covenant with God. Dr. Korn is academic director of the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation in Israel. 
The Mitzvah Project: "A Mischling in the Wehrmacht"
Monday, November 9, 5 p.m. (one hour performance, followed by Q&A)
Terrace Room, Claudia Cohen Hall, 249 South 36th Street, Philadelphia
Roger Grunwald's one-man show explores the little-known history of the Mischlinge soldiers during the Third Reich, descendants of Jewish intermarriage committed to the Fatherland. 30th Annual Joseph Alexander Colloquium of the University of Pennsylvania.
Reflections on the SS St. Louis
National Museum of American Jewish History
101 S. Independence Mall East, Philadelphia
Sunday, November 22, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Presentations by Ronnie Breslow, child on the S.S. St. Louis, and Barbara Krasner, author of Liesl's Ocean Rescue, an account for middle school readers of the experience of Liesl Loeb, another child on the ship. Docent-led tour follows, focusing on related artifacts in the Museum. Free with Museum admission. Co-sponsored by the Holocaust Awareness Museum and Education Center.
The "Wandering Jew" in the Jewish and Christian Imagination
Speaker: Dr. Galit Hasan-Rokem, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Tuesday, December 1, 7-8:30 p.m.
Haub Executive Suite, McShain Hall - 5th Floor, Saint Joseph's University
The powerful, derogatory, medieval image of the "wandering Jew" captures the legend of the cursed people doomed to roam the world till the end of days for their unbelief. The wanderer existed not only in the Christian mind but also, differently, in Jewish folklore, art and literature. Co-sponsored with the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.  


For Middle School and Above

Somewhere There Is Still a Sun: A Memoir of the Holocaust by Michael Gruenbaum with Todd Hasak-Lowy; Aladdin Publishing, 2015. Young Misha relays his first-person account in the present tense, taking the reader through the horrors of Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia and his years in Terezin. Photographs and letters supplement this powerful testimony.
The Boys in the Boat: The True Story of an American Team's Epic Journey to Win Gold at the 1936 Olympics by Daniel James Brown; Viking Books for Young Readers, 2015. (Young reader's version of Brown's award-winning 2013 book.) The University of Washington's eight-oar crew, sons of loggers, shipyard workers and farmers, defeat elite teams at the Berlin Olympics.
The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club by Phillip Hoose; Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2015. Non-fiction account of the small group of teens who rebel against the German occupation of Denmark through sabotage and destruction until they are imprisoned. Based on first-person reminiscences with vivid description of the group's exploits, supplemented by historical sidebars, maps and period photos.
Running From Giants: The Holocaust through the Eyes of a Child by Margareta Ackerman; CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013. True account of 10-year-old Srulik's struggle to survive in Nazi-occupied Europe, suddenly and brutally alone after a peaceful childhood in Nowosolki, Poland. Written by his granddaughter, capturing both the fears and resilience of this young boy, aided by the powerful illustrations of Vivien Mildenberger. Substantive lesson plans available at http://www.runningfromgiants.com 
For High School and Advanced

Memory is Our Home: Loss and Remembering: Three Generations in Poland and Russia, 1917-1960s by Suzanna Eibuszye; ibidem Press, 2015. Biographical memoir based on the diaries of the author's mother who was born in Warsaw before the end of World War I, grew up during the interwar period and survived World War II in Soviet Russia and Uzbekistan. The author interweaves her own recollections of the family's post-war life in Communist Poland, creating a powerful intergenerational account.
The Crime and the Silence: Confronting the Massacre of Jews in Wartime Jedwabne by Anna Bikont; Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015. Polish journalist continues the painful exploration of the July 1941 massacre of the Jewish population in a small Polish town, first brought to light in Polish-American historian Jan Gross's 2001 book Neighbors. Bikont interviews the few eyewitnesses and surviving perpetrators, not only confirming participation in the murders by the local Polish population, but countering positive reports of pre-war harmony.
Against Time: Letters from Nazi Germany, 1938-1939 by Francis Hoeber; American Philosophical Society, 2015. Personal letters written at great risk between the author's parents document anti-Nazi Social Democrats' efforts to flee the Third Reich. Meticulously translated by their son, this correspondence captures the fear, anxiety and roadblocks which challenged his family's flight from the Gestapo.
50 Children: One Ordinary American Couple's Extraordinary Rescue Mission into the Heart of Nazi Germany by Steven Pressman; Harper Perennial, 2015. Chronicle of Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus and their extraordinary rescue of 50 Austrian children in 1939. This detailed account of the Philadelphia couple who risked their lives to enter Nazi Germany and Austria on the brink of the war was unknown until Mrs. Kraus's unpublished account was later discovered. Emmy-nominated documentary The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus (2013) was written and directed by the author.

Save the Dates:
Spring 2016
JCRC Programs 

Youth Symposium on the Holocaust
One-day program for all students in grades 9-12 in the Delaware Valley, including discussion with survivors and educational workshop for teachers.
8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Saint Joseph's University
March 8, 2016  
West Chester University
March 10, 2016 
Gratz College
March 14, 2016
Bucks County Community College
March 17, 2016 
Mordechai Anielewicz Creative Arts Competition
Entry deadline: Wednesday, March 9, 2016
For students in grades 7-12 in the Delaware Valley.  Opportunity to respond to lessons of the Holocaust through creative expression - poetry, prose, painting, sculpture, music, dance and multimedia.

Submit all entries to:
Jewish Community Relations Council 
2100 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Award Ceremony: Monday June 6, 2016
Exhibition of Visual Entries:
June 2-15, 2016
Moore College of Art and Design, 20th Street and
the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia

Annual Philadelphia Holocaust Memorial Ceremony

Sunday, April 17, 2016, 1-2:30 p.m.
16th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia


"Dorothy Freedman Memorial Conversation with a Survivor"

April 17, 2016 
Breakfast program for middle and high school students preceding
10 a.m. 
Moore College of Art and Design, 
20th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia
For further information about JCRC
Holocaust programs and requests for speakers, contact 
For Holocaust Education consultation, contact 

New Online Resources

Free Download

The Academy Award-winning documentary
One Survivor Remembers -- based on Gerda Weissmann Klein's memoir All But My Life -- is available for free download together with supplementary teaching materials through the Gerda and Kurt Klein Foundation and the Southern Poverty Law Center/Teaching Tolerance. 

Synagoga and Ecclesia

Saint Joseph's University Institute of Jewish-Catholic Relations:
Details and photographs of the sculpture "Synagoga and Ecclesia in Our Time," dedicated in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Nostra Aetate viewable here.

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