JAO students learn lessons of hope from a Holocaust survivor
November 15, 2019
Jewish Academy of Orlando fourth and fifth graders heard testimony from Holocaust survivor Sami Steigmann as part of a visit organized by Dr. Dan Layish, an alumni parent. Steigmann visited students to share his incredible story of hope and survival.
"I appreciated the timeliness of this visit," stated Emily Watson, 4th grade teacher. "Listening to Mr. Steigmann not only gave my students the opportunity to learn where prejudice and racism can lead; but also it allowed them to hear the lessons of hope from a survivor."
Steigmann shared that he was only a year old during the Holocaust and lived in a work camp. He spoke with the students about geography (where it took place), his experiences as told to him by his family, and some of the events of the Holocaust. Primarily, he discussed the importance of advocating for your beliefs.
"For my daughter, the visit really put things into perspective," said Jennifer Hennessee, 4th grade parent. "It demonstrated the reality of the atrocities and made her even more grateful for our family and the simple things like hanging out with her friends."
"There are not many people left to share the stories of the Holocaust and there is no better way than through hearing about it first-hand from a survivor," shared Head of School Alan Rusonik. "We are fortunate that our students were able to learn this history in such a real manner. Mr. Steigmann brought an incredible story of hope to the students."
Jewish Academy of Orlando serves central Florida students of all faiths from transitional kindergarten through fifth grade. The school delivers a whole-child education fostering academic excellence and character education rooted in Jewish values. Jewish Academy of Orlando is accredited by the Florida Council of Independent Schools.
To learn more about Jewish Academy of Orlando, please visit: jewishacademyorlando.org or follow the school on Facebook facebook.com/JewishAcademyOrlando/
See related story on page 7A.