"Anyone can go to the Holocaust museum [in Washington DC] but not everyone gets this experience." ~A. Speitel (student, 17)
"Voices of Holocaust History" Makes Its Philadelphia Premiere
On Wednesday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m., "Voices of Holocaust History: A Curriculum Project" will have its local theatrical premiere as part of the Ambler Theater Cinematheque Series. The one hour film will be followed by a special Question and Answer session with administrators and teachers from the project, director Deanne Scherlis Comer and the Holocaust survivors from the film.
Comer is a former Abington School District teacher who chaired the district's Holocaust Curriculum Committee. Currently a member of the Education Committee of the Pennsylvania Holocaust Education Council, she has received numerous honors for her innovative work, including the Janusz Korczak Award for Teaching Excellence and the Human Relations Council of Montgomery County (PA) Inter-group Award.
In the 1980s, Abington, Pennsylvania School District became one of the first communities to mandate an educational curriculum about the Holocaust. Local filmmaker and JSPAN Board member Deanne Scherlis Comer has written and produced a stirring documentary which chronicles the development of this program and the participation in it by three Holocaust survivors from the Greater Philadelphia area.
The documentary was selected for the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival, held in New York City and Los Angeles in September of 2008. It features local child survivors Ruth Kapp Hartz, a "hidden child" in Vichy, France, Eva Abraham-Podietz, part of the Kindertransport, and Liesl Joseph Loeb, who traveled on the German liner SS St. Louis that was denied landing rights in the United States.
This viewing is free to members of the Ambler Theater Cinematheque Spring 2010 Series. The theater is located at 108 E. Butler Avenue in Ambler. To get more details, call the theater at (215) 345-7855 , Ext. 0.
The Pennsylvania 2009-2010 budget eliminated funding for Holocaust education in public schools in the Commonwealth. To learn about efforts to secure funding for these programs in the future, click here to read "State of Ignorance: Why isn't Pennsylvania funding Holocaust education?" by Melissa Jacobs, which appeared in the Spring/Summer 2010 issue of "Inside, The Jewish Lifestyle Magazine."