YU High School Students Document Holocaust Survivors’ Testimonies Through Oral History Project

Students at YU High School for Girls connect with Holocaust survivors

YU High School for Girls students documented the testimony of Holocaust survivor Joe Rosenfeld (seated with his wife).

For many seniors at Yeshiva University High Schools (YUHS), one of the most memorable parts of their educational experience takes place outside the classroom—not with their teachers or classmates, but behind a video camera, recording the first-person narrative of Holocaust survivors.

As participants in “Names, Not Numbers,” students have the unique opportunity to delve into the history of the Holocaust, hone their interviewing skills and filming techniques and have a one-on-one encounter with a Holocaust survivor—taping and editing his or her testimony into a short clip which later becomes part of a longer film that includes the firsthand accounts of other survivors.

Now in its 10th year, “Names, Not Numbers” is an oral history documentary project founded in 2003 by Tova Rosenberg, director of Hebrew language studies and Israel Exchange Programs at YUHS, who has organized and overseen the project since its inception. To date, she has helped more than 450 Holocaust survivors and World War II veterans share their stories.

“It’s an experiential, collaborative project that allows for each student’s creativity to shine,” said Rosenberg. “Nobody really understands what the number six million means, but everyone can understand what one story means. It makes the Holocaust relevant to the students and I have seen over and over how the project really touches their souls.” Read the rest of this entry…

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