The NEA State Education Editors presented the Best Video award to NJEA’s documentary “Transformation & Remembrance – A journey from the Holocaust to the Classroom.” The documentary follows a group of New Jersey educators as they visit sites of the Holocaust. The trip changed their lives and the lives of their students.
In the summer of 2014, the group of 30 New Jersey educators visited Germany, Czech Republic, Poland and the Netherlands. The crew of the NJEA’s television show “Classroom Close-up, NJ” joined those educators in Berlin and Prague.
A memorable stop on the tour was Wannsee Villa, a majestic setting for the meeting where senior officials of Nazi Germany planned the Final Solution. While still in Germany, the New Jersey teachers met with local teachers to share teaching strategies regarding the Holocaust.
The next stop, Grunewald Station where thousands boarded trains and were systematically transported to extermination camps. After leaving Berlin, they traveled to Terezin (or Theresienstadt) Concentration Camp located northwest of Prague. A propaganda film was made to show this idyllic city where notable musicians, writers, artists and leaders were sent for their own safety. In reality, of the Czech Jews who were taken to Terezin, nearly 98,000 died, including 15,000 children.
The New Jersey educators brought back the lessons of the trip to their classrooms. Three teachers from Sterling High School in Somerdale focus their a lessons on what it means to “step up,” rather than “stand by as onlookers.”
New Jersey is one of only five states to mandate Holocaust education in the public schools. This accomplishment is largely due to the success of the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education and its executive director, Paul Winkler. Commission member Maud Dahme, a longtime member and former president of the New Jersey State Board of Education, was recently inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame. As Holocaust survivors, they are committed to ensuring New Jersey’s children never forget about the Holocaust and that they recognize their responsibility in preventing violence and injustice.
The commission offers extensive resources for the classroom, including downloadable lesson plans. In addition to materials on the Holocaust, the commission offers a 9/11 curriculum and lesson plans on slavery, genocide, human rights, tolerance, respect and much more. To learn more, visit the various resources on this page.
Stefanie & Gene Woods – Bayonne High School
Toby Kaplan – Burlington County Institute of Technology Medford
Reba Ducore – Rahway High School
Victoria Pritchard – Cleveland High School Tennessee
Mimma-Marie Cammarata, Lauren Maunz, Michelle Myers, Sterling High School
Jan Beane – Green Fields Elementary School Woodbury
Lois Maunz – Glendora Elementary School
Dawn M. Johnson, George J. Mitchell School – Little Egg Harbor
John Blasena – Woodbridge Middle School
Jennifer Blasena – Fords Middle School
William F., III Miller – Woodbridge Middle School
Ramona Hernandez – Greater Brunswick Charter School New Brunswick
Jessica Schram – Verona High School
Jackie Durazzi – Smithville Elementary Galloway
Patricia George – Red Bank Primary School
Danielle Clark – Signal Hill School Voorhees
Eleanor Clark – Osage Elementary Voorhees
Jennifer A. Nagy – Melvin H. Kreps Middle School East Windsor
Aruna A. Mathura – W.O.K. Middle School Hillside
Erin Fitzgerald – Gilmore J. Fisher Middle School Ewing
Ursula Vanwart – Middlesex County Academy For Science, Mathematics & Engineering Technologies Edison
Lisa Wiater – Ridgewood High School
Nicole Walzer, Megan Berlamino – W.O.K. Middle School Hillside
Hope Zabolinsky – McKinley Community School New Brunswick
Ernesto F. Diaz – Passaic County Technical Institute Wayne
Pamelar Jean-Baptiste – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School Complex Atlantic City
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