Trailblazing Connecticut Course is Blueprint for Future Holocaust Education

From the Times of Israel. BY CATHRYN J. PRINCE January 30, 2016, 1:56 am 5

(FILES) This photo taken on January 27, 2014 shows a former concentration camp prisoner attending (R) a ceremony at the memorial site of the former Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Oswiecim, Poland, on Holocaust Day. Mostly in their nineties now, some are still well enough to attend on January 27, 2015 ceremonies marking 70 years since the Soviet Red Army liberated Auschwitz, the largest German death camp, on January 27, 1945 in what is now southern Poland.  AFP PHOTO/JANEK SKARZYNSKI

(FILES) This photo taken on January 27, 2014 shows a former concentration camp prisoner attending (R) a ceremony at the memorial site of the former Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Oswiecim, Poland, on Holocaust Day. Mostly in their nineties now, some are still well enough to attend on January 27, 2015 ceremonies marking 70 years since the Soviet Red Army liberated Auschwitz, the largest German death camp, on January 27, 1945 in what is now southern Poland. AFP PHOTO/JANEK SKARZYNSKI

UNITED NATIONS – As the Holocaust recedes further into history and as the era of the living witness closes, educators and researchers are grappling with how best to teach it to future generations.

“We need to create a real bond with history, to give it a human story rather than just present a series of frightening pictures of piles of bodies. We must make it relevant. We must constantly engage students, delivering the subject in bite-sized bursts,” said Jane Jacobs-Kimmelman, director of the International Relations Department at the International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem.

Jacobs-Kimmelman was one of several researchers and educators to participate in a discussion at the United Nations on Thursday about the future of Holocaust research and education. Of concern is how to make the Holocaust, which occurred more than 70 years ago, relevant to today’s students, particularly in places where there are few Jewish students or where perhaps students aren’t aware of their grandparents or great-grandparents’ stories.

Since 2013, laws mandating the inclusion of the Holocaust in curricula have been on the books in Austria, France, Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. In the US, individual states decide on curriculum content. To date Holocaust education is mandatory in California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

While Connecticut doesn’t mandate Holocaust education, schools include the Holocaust as part of the unit on World War II. Beyond that, many schools offer a variety of history electives on the subject.

At Weston High School in Connecticut, the course “Facing History and Ourselves” provides a blueprint for the future of Holocaust education. The semester-long history course, for juniors and seniors, uses current events to link students to the past, said Weston Public Schools social studies teacher Jennifer B. Klein. Continue reading

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Israeli Wave of Terror

07 Feb 2016 from Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The recent series of attacks against Israelis is the direct result of incitement by radical Islamist and terrorist elements, calling on Palestinian youth to murder Jews. ​
Five months of terror

 Five months of terror

Magen David Adom: Since 13 September 2015, 31 people have been killed (including a Palestinian and a foreign worker), and 304 people injured – 28 of them seriously – in terrorist attacks.

IDF: Terror attacks by numbers (as of February 7):

  • 119 stabbings
  • 41 shootings
  • 23 car rammings
According to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC), during the past month there has been a wave of terrorist attacks which began on the Temple Mount and in east Jerusalem. The attacks later spread to Judea and Samaria and even crossed the Green Line into Israel under the battle cry of “Al-Aqsa mosque is in danger.”
The current wave of terrorist attacks is part of the PA’s strategy of “popular resistance” (i.e., popular terrorism) adopted by the PA and Fatah at the Sixth Fatah conference in August 2009. Statements by Fatah, Hamas and PIJ spokespersons have described the attacks as “heroic actions” and “the natural response to Israel’s crimes”.
During the past week terrorist attacks, which had been concentrated in greater Jerusalem, spread to other locations in Israel, including Kiryat Gat in the south, Tel Aviv, Afula in the north, and Gan Shmuel (near Hadera) and Raanana (in the center of the country). The attacks have been carried out by young lone terrorists, most of them from east Jerusalem, and some from Judea and Samaria. There were also two Israeli Arabs (from Nazareth and Um el-Fahm), Palestinians staying in Israel illegally, two women and two children. They were motivated for the most part by the lie spread by the Palestinian media that Israel allegedly threatened Al-Aqsa mosque, as well as by the frustration, desperation and anger of the younger generation. Generally speaking, the terrorists have not been operatives of any established terrorist organization, and the current wave of terrorism has not been directed by any organization, but rather is directly inspired by the intensive incitement accompanying it.
According to the Israel Security Agency, October 2015 saw the beginning of a wave of terrorism that has led to 620 attacks (483 in the form of firebombs) in one month, compared to 223 in September. Eleven people (one foreign national and 10 Israelis) were killed in terrorist attacks in October, and 80 were injured, 37 of them moderately or more severely (one foreign national, 18 Israeli civilians, and 18 members of the security forces).
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Witnesses to Hunger CT

Witness to HungerOn February 1, Bob Fishman attended a press conference for the Witnesses to Hunger CT exhibit. This is a project that uses photographs taken by Connecticut residents to bring visibility to their everyday struggles to make ends meet. These powerful images and the stories behind them reinforce the need for substantial policy change to ensure health, success, and hope for all of our neighbors. The exhibit is comprised of over 50 photographs taken by 15 witnesses from towns across Connecticut. Several of the witnesses spoke at the conference, along with Senator Marilyn Moore.

Some important facts to know:

  • 1 in 7 CT residents struggle with hunger
  • 14.3% of CT families do not have adequate resources to purchase enough food
  • 68% of food pantry and soup kitchen clients in CT at one point had to choose between food or medical care
  • Across CT, 50% of renters and 35% of owners spend more than 30% of their income on housing

To get involved and learn more, visit End Hunger CT.

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New Haven Community Still Shocked, Saddened by Ezra Schwartz’s Death and Memorial Fund Established

From Shalom New Haven, Winter 2016

ezra“Everyone in New Haven is bleeding right now,” said Betty Levy, a family friend, expressing how the New Haven Jewish community is still shocked and saddened over the death of 18-year-old Ezra Schwartz, who was one of three people murdered by a Palestinian gunman on Nov. 19 in Israel.

Schwartz, who was spending his gap year at a yeshiva during his year abroad in Israel, has become a very real, personal symbol for so many all around the world of the escalating number of human lives lost in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The night Schwartz was killed in the West Bank town of Gush Etzion, he was with friends on his way to deliver food and candy to Israeli soldiers. Schwartz lived in Sharon, Massachusetts, but his grandparents, Dr. Mark Schwartz, and his wife, Heni Schwartz, live in New Haven, and Ezra would visit often. Dr. and Mrs. Schwartz are active in the Westville Synagogue, where Mark is the synagogue’s president. Levy is a close friend of the Schwartzes and helped bring Ezra’s father, Ari, to school in the carpool when he was growing up.

“They are a remarkably good family,” she said. “Both Mark and Heni have really given to the community in every way. Mark was a doctor and is so kind and conscientious. Heni is a social worker and is just such an amazing person. That this would happen to their grandson is just unbearable.” Continue reading

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JFACT Welcomes New Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven CEO, Judy Diamondstein

The below articles were featured in the Winter 2016 Shalom New Haven Newspaper

Judy%20Headshot%201_resize990__1_New CEO Looks Forward to Joining Her Family with Our Jewish Community Family

It’s not every day that you can look forward to fulfilling your life’s dream, but that is just what I’m about to do when I join you as the chief executive officer of the Jewish Federation & JCC of Greater New Haven.

My name is Judy Diamondstein and I will be moving to New Haven from Allentown, Pennsylvania, where I have lived for the past 23 years, raising two children, Noah (22) and Molly (20), with my husband Marc.

Involvement in the Jewish community has always been a given for me, as I grew up in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, the daughter of parents who were steeped in Jewish life as professionals and volunteers.

My dad was the JCC executive director before becoming the Jewish Federation executive and my mom was a JCC preschool teacher, Hebrew school teacher and community volunteer—ultimately becoming the president of the Jewish Federation’s Women’s Division.

Continue reading

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Attachment-1JFACT, ADL, JFNA Israel Action Network in partnership with JCPA, and the Connecticut JCRC are researching these misleading ads.

If you see this bus ad and want to contact us, please call Bob Fishman 860-727-5701.

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Last week’s terror attack, at a bar in the heart of Tel Aviv, was a tragedy that struck close to home. 

From the Jewish Agency for Israel:

 Photo: Netanel Tevel

We received an email from our beloved Jewish Agency colleague, Danielle Mor. Danielle, among other responsibilities, works with the Fund for the Victims of Terror, which provides Israel’s terror victims with direct, immediate financial assistance after an attack.

Danielle’s sad and eloquent words speak for themselves, “My Safta (grandma) Turan – left side, wrapped in a scarf sitting next to a paramedic, crying at the funeral of Alon Bakal – her grandson

I want to share with you a terrible tragedy that happened to my family less than a week ago.

My amazing cousin Alon Bakal, 26 years old, was shot dead by a terrorist last Friday afternoon while working as a shift manager at a Tel Aviv café. Out of nowhere, without warning, and in one second, Alon is gone. Alon was about to graduate from law school and start interning at a prestigious Tel Aviv law firm. He was the best young man you could imagine, the kind you would want to be friends with – served in the Golani combat brigade, volunteered in a poverty prevention organization, cheered his favorite Hapoel Jerusalem basketball team and called his mother every morning. Though I have been working closely with The Jewish Agency’s Fund for Victims of Terror for years, I never really thought my family would be one of those it gave assistance to. Continue reading

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