Morristown, N.J. (April 13, 2016) – On April 12, 2016, the Fourth Annual Collaborative Conference on Holocaust Education was held at CSE. While the primary audience was teachers, the morning keynote speech by Dr. Mordecai Paldiel, retired director of the Righteous Among the Nations at Yad Vashem in Israel, was open to the public. During his tenure at Yad Vashem, 18,000 non-Jewish men and women from many countries were awarded Righteous Among the Nations status with their names and stories enshrined at Yad Vashem.
"Teaching children about the horrors of the Holocaust and genocide is a delicate balance," says Dr. Harriet Sepinwall, co-director of the College of Saint Elizabeth Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education. "We don't want to frighten them, but we also are mandated by the state to teach them."
Dr. Paldiel spoke about his work, which continues to this day, that focuses on non-Jews who put their lives and the lives of their families in grave danger by sheltering or helping Jews.
"Doctors would place 'patients' in quarantine, clergy would give fake baptismal certificates, monks and nuns would hide whole families in monasteries and convents, and Muslims would shelter Jews in their homes," he explained. "We must teach about the Holocaust," he urged. "The generation of survivors will not last much longer and we have to keep their stories, and the stories of their rescuers alive."
The remainder of the morning was divided into four groups:
Teachers earned professional development credits and received curriculum guides by attending this event.
The next scheduled event at the College is "From the Armenian Genocide to the Holocaust: Remembering for the Future" on Tuesday, May 10, 2016, from 4:30-9:00 p.m. This also will offer professional development credits and curriculum guides.