Arizona’s Holocaust survivors and their descendants have long volunteered to share their personal stories with members of the community. These important stories can be shared virtually to schools, youth and community organizations. Combining efforts, the Phoenix Holocaust Association (PHA) and Arizona Jewish Historical Society (AZJHS) offer a wide variety of Holocaust education and awareness programs in a virtual environment.
These programs are led by Holocaust survivors and their descendants, World War II Veterans, and many other influential individuals with experience and knowledge of the Holocaust as well as other genocides.
According to Sheryl Bronkesh, president of PHA and a second-generation survivor, it is so important to chronicle 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 Bronkesh. “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 another important education opportunity to the community. The three organizations have a long history working together in both 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. “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.”
These presentations are available at no cost.
“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. “The further away we get from the actual events, the harder it will be for future generations to understand what happened.”
For more information and to schedule a speaker for your organization, please visit https://www.phxha.com/speakers-bureau/.