My Bags Are Packed; Am I Ready To Go?

Holocaust and Jewish Resistance Teachers Program Summer 2016

Arrived safely at the Crowne Plaza in Newark for orientation before we fly out on Thursday evening.  It was a long day in the car to Boston College and then back down to Newark and I’m not really a fan of even moderate city driving, but it went seamlessly.  We have a smaller group than I originally thought, twenty-two teachers from all over the country, plus our two group leaders.  Neil and Meryl are veterans of the program, both having been selected Vladka Meed, the creator of this opportunity, and who traveled with her and learned from her in Europe, Israel, and the States.  After reading her memoir, On Both Sides of the Wall, a few months ago, I can understand why people speak of her in awed and humbled tones. She was a force to be reckoned with, and I know she’d be proud of the over 1100 teachers that have been through the experience and how they work to ensure the Holocaust and Jewish Resistance are remembered for future generations.

Today we have a full day of orientation.  Vladka’s daughter-in-law will be speaking with with us, we’ll also have Echoes and Reflections training, hear survivor testimony, learn about the importance of artifacts and preserving family stories,  and then tomorrow we’ll learn about primary sources, and speak with Tuvia Bielsky’s youngest son, before we ready ourselves to leave for the airport.  These days will be full, but I am so proud to be a part of the cohort this year.  We have a responsibility to the living and to the dead, to always remember.  It’s humbling to consider yourself part of that sacred trust.

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