Names, Not Numbers
How do we pass on the lessons of the Holocaust to young people? How do we provide a more in-depth understanding of World War II and the Holocaust to students in high school? How do we give a human dimension to Holocaust statistics? How do we nurture students’ active participation in acquiring knowledge so that retention will be permanent and they will form a live, emotional and lasting connection to what they learn? “Names, Not Numbers” is an oral history film project created by our very own Tova Fish-Rosenberg, and now offered in other area schools, which transforms traditional history lessons into a lively, interactive, nontraditional program that involves individuals who have actually lived through the his- tory being taught. Names, Not Numbers offers an integrated, multidisciplinary curriculum, combining research through a custom-made Web site, interviewing techniques, documentary film tools, and editing. Throughout the project, the students work with professionals—journalists or newspaper editors, a filmmaker and history teachers. At the same time they also form intergenerational friendships with their interview subjects, the survivors themselves. “Names, Not Numbers” is a project that bequeaths the memories, stories and lessons of the Holocaust to students and inspires future generations to combat anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred and intolerance.
To find out more about the program, please visit http://namesnotnumbers.org/.
To read about some of the coverage in the press regarding the Names, Not Numbers project, please click on any of the below links:
To listen to an interview about the program, featuring Eli Muschel, Yehuda Kupferman & Yofi Jacob who participated in the program in ’09-’10, please click here.
Dear Mrs. Rosenberg,
I just wanted to take a moment to write to you about how much I gained from being part of the Names not Numbers project in my senior year of high school. As the grand-daughter of four holocaust survivors the Holocaust has always been something that was known to me in my life. However, it was not until I participated in Names, Not Numbers that I really started to understand why learning and teaching about the Holocaust is so important. By preparing for and taking part in the interviews with Holocaust survivors I began to realize that the Holocaust is not just some thing that happened in history but something that I myself and the world needs to learn a lesson from.
Something that particularly struck me was what one of the survivors said in the documentary itself. One of my fellow students asked their interviewee a question: “Do you think something like the Holocaust could ever happen again?” The Survivor paused, the camera close up on her face, the survivor responded saying, ” I really do not wish to say this, but yes, I do think something like the Holocaust can happen again.” With tears streaming down my face I came to a final realization; if something like the Holocaust is capable of happening again then the world clearly does not understand an important lesson of the Holocaust tragedy. We must teach the world about what the “civilized” Nazi regime was able to accomplish in front of the world’s eyes. People need to realize what hatred and indifference can lead to.
Ever since I participated in Names, Not Numbers, Holocaust education has been my passion. Last year I was privileged to take part in my school’s trip to Poland, an experience that really enhanced my lessons learned from the Holocaust. This year I have been privileged to be the events coordinator of a new club in Yeshiva University called the Student Holocaust Education Movement (SHEM). SHEM has started to take Holocaust education to the next level through programs such as a mission trip to the Holocaust museum in Washington DC, Yom Hashoah, and the planning of an upcoming program called HOPE (Holocaust Outreach Program of Education) that will go into high schools and elementary schools and teach students about the Holocaust. I am also considering Holocaust Education as a career.
Without the Names, Not Numbers project I would not be where I am today. This project was one of the most important experiences in my lifetime and I cannot thank you enough for that.
Student Holocaust Education Movement