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Holocaust Youth Symposium Now in Its 36th Year

February 20, 2013

The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, in conjunction with a number of community partners, proudly presents its annual Youth Symposium on the Holocaust at four locations throughout the region during the month of March.

The symposium provides high school students with an opportunity to learn about the destructive nature of prejudice and discrimination, the need for courage in the face of tyranny and injustice, and other important universal lessons of the Holocaust.

Designed for those who have already studied the Holocaust as well as those with little knowledge of the subject, the program includes an introductory film, small group dialogue with Holocaust survivors, a teacher training workshop, lunch and dynamic keynote presentations.

The symposium is open to students and teachers in grades 9-12, from public, private and parochial schools throughout the Dela­ware Valley. Programs are offered from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the following sites and dates:

March 5 — St. Joseph’s University

March 7 — La Salle University

March 19 — West Chester University

March 21 — Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel, Elkins Park

Keynote speakers include Dr. Leon Bass, an African-American soldier during World War II who witnessed the liberation of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp. He was one of the first American soldiers to be seen by survivors of the camp and referred to those he met that day as “the walking dead.”

As a black soldier, he personally experienced the humiliation of being a second-class citizen in his own army. He lectures extensively on the subject of “Rac­ism and the Holocaust,” bringing to audiences his unique perspective as a witness of many forms of oppression. He recently published the book, Good Enough: One Man’s Memoir on the Price of the Dream.

Dr. Bass settled in Philadelphia after the war and is the former chair of the Interfaith Council on the Holocaust and a former principal of Benjamin Franklin High School.

Another keynote speaker is Fernande K. Davis, who served in the Belgian Resistance movement during World War II. Davis documents her experiences in her book Girl in the Belgian Resistance: A Wakeful Eye in the Underground. Davis was just a teenager when the Nazis occupied her village and annexed it to Germany.

She was drafted to work in a German munitions factory and, determined not to assist the enemy, jumped from a train and went underground.

Registrations are limited. To sign up your school group, call Beth Razin at 215-832-0536 or email: [email protected].

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