by George J Elbaum
Jewish Family and Children’s Services (JFCS) is a San Francisco Bay Area social services organization whose mission statement is “Serving individuals and families of all faiths and backgrounds, guided by the Jewish value of caring for those in our community most in need.” As such, JFCS carries a special responsibility within the Jewish community for reaching out to children, the aged, those with special needs, and for the resettlement and acculturation of refugees and immigrants.
JFCS’s Holocaust Center also conducts teacher training seminars focused on teaching tolerance and social responsibility, and today I spoke to two dozen middle and high school teachers participating in a professional development program now in its fifth year being run through the UC Davis History Project. (Prior to my talk the teachers spent a day at the Tauber Holocaust Library where, with the help of JFCS’s Yedida Kanfer, they did research on the topic about which they’ll create a new lesson plan for their students.) This UC project is organized and directed by Diane Wolf, Professor of Sociology and Director of UC Davis Jewish Studies Program, who accompanied the participating teachers. I was especially pleased by the long and animated Q&A session and the many thoughtful questions and comments which my talk elicited from the teachers and from Professor Wolf. My talk was arranged by Nina Grotch, JFCS’s Manager of Community Education.