The Phoenix Holocaust Association and Arizona Jewish Historical Society have combined efforts to offer various Holocaust education and awareness programs in a virtual environment to schools, youth and community organizations.
Arizona’s Holocaust survivors and their descendants have long volunteered to share personal stories with members of the community, according to a press release, noting the programs led by Holocaust survivors and descendants, World War II Veterans, and many individuals with Holocaust experience and knowledge as well as other genocides.
PHA President Sheryl Bronkesh, who is a second-generation survivor, states the importance of chronicling this part of history.
“With the aging and death of survivors, the second and third generations are carrying on by telling their families’ experience,” said Ms. Bronkesh in a prepared statement.
“The children and grandchildren of survivors tell remarkable stories of resiliency, forgiveness and reminding us that this can never happen again.”
Each year, PHA and AZJHS work with the Bureau of Jewish Education to present an annual conference on the Holocaust for teachers. This, combined with the Speaker’s Bureau, brings an important education opportunity to the community as the three organizations have historically worked together in local and national Holocaust education.
“Our Holocaust survivor community is dedicated to bringing these educational programs to schools, youth groups, civic organizations – really anyone that is interested in learning about the Holocaust,” said Dr. Lawrence Bell, Ph.D., executive director of AZJHS, in a prepared statement.
“We can tailor the presentation for the audience, so the content is appropriate for students as young as 12. Having young people hear directly from a survivor or a descendant provides a powerful emotional connection to the events that is often missing in the textbooks.”
“Our primary goal with the annual educator conference is to provide an opportunity for teachers to not only hear from survivors and descendants but have access to other valuable information and resources so that they can incorporate the Holocaust in their classrooms,” said Myra Shindler, BJE’s executive director, in a prepared statement.
“The further away we get from the actual events, the harder it will be for future generations to understand what happened.”
For more information on the free presentations available and to schedule a speaker for organizations: https://www.phxha.com/speakers-bureau/.