Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Students inspired by Holocaust Memorial at SOJC


The recent unveiling of the Holocaust Memorial at Southwest Orlando Jewish Congregation (SOJC), an Eagle Scout service project led by Max Waldor, is giving Jewish youth at the SOJC Religious School a way to investigate and learn about the Holocaust, tolerance, and civic responsibility.

Last year, commemorating the 75th Anniversary of Kristallnacht, The Night of Broken Glass, SOJC's Religious School invited Holocaust survivor, Erica Kanter, to speak to their third- through fifth-grade students about her experiences during Kristallnacht and her escape on the Kindertransport. Kanter, a longtime resident of Dr. Phillips and retired editorial director at HBJ (now Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) is one of the 40 survivors represented in the memorial. Her father, Dr. Paul L. Hecht, was arrested during Kristallnacht and sent to Dauchau where he remained until his release a month later. His parents perished in the Holocaust but Erica's sister, brother and both parents eventually reunited in the United States where her father regained his medical license to practice. More information about Kanter's story and the other 39 survivors represented in the Memorial can be found on the website http://www.sojc.org/HolocaustMemorial.

Following Erica Kanter's presentation, Max Waldor introduced the students to the website and how to use it for educational research. The students then worked in their classrooms on computers doing their own investigations. The stories that are represented in the physical mural displayed in the synagogue have QR links to the website and throughout the Internet where continued research can be done.

SOJC is presently planning a Yom Hashoah Religious School and community event for Sunday, April 27 continuing to educate the students and community about events that surrounded the Holocaust.


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