by George J Elbaum
Congregation Emanu-El in San Francisco conducts a year-long course “The Shoah: Exploring History to Craft Our Future” specifically for the 9th grade students among its congregants. This course meets weekly and takes the students on a journey from 1919 to 1945, exploring anti-Semitism in the Weimar Republic through the dehumanization of the Holocaust and the personal stories of resistance and rescue. The stated and very worthwhile goal is that “by studying the intricacies and uniqueness of the Holocaust, the future generation will recognize the patterns of genocide and make efforts in maintaining human rights and compassion for all peoples.” The course is organized and taught by Ariana Estoque, Director of Adolescent Education, and my presentation to the students and their parents was part of it. The initial arrangements for the presentation were made by Katie Cook of Jewish Family and Children’s Services.