by George J Elbaum
Newark Memorial High School (NMHS) has an enrollment of approximately 2000 student and high diversity: 35% Hispanic, 31% non-Hispanic white, 13% Asian, 11% Filipino, 8% African-American and 2% others. Average class sizes range from 25 to 29 students.
In developing its students’ social responsibility, the Social Studies Department chaired by Laura Knoop has for several years been teaching a multi-week unit on the Holocaust which exposes the students to books such Elie Wiesel’s Night and The Diary of Anne Frank, and also to presentations by Holocaust survivors. Since Laura Knoop attended the educators’ workshop organized by Jack Weinstein of Facing History and Ourselves where I spoke on January 20, 2016 in Palo Alto, she and Jack invited me to speak at NMHS and organized the event for approximately 200 10th grade World History students. My presentation was followed by an active Q&A session which included some probing questions asked of me for the very first time – I truly value that!
In conducting this event Laura Knoop was aided by teachers Sara Canales and Alex Seitz, and by Dean of Students Elie Wasser.