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.
Among its many services, the JFCS provides the facilities and arranges presentations on the Holocaust to visiting student groups. Such day-long visits to the Holocaust Center normally start with a lesson from Holocaust Center staff to provide historical context that ties into and is followed by a presentation from a Holocaust survivor. My talk today was to 8th grade students from Peyton Elementary School (L-8) in Stockton, who had previously read The Diary of Anne Frank as part of their English-Language Arts curriculum. This was the 4th consecutive year that they have visited the JFCS, thanks to the efforts of Jen Youngquist, the teacher who organizes this program. Accompanying the students was teacher Rod Huff.
My talk, preparation, parking, etc., was ably arranged by Nikki Bambauer, JFCS Holocaust Center’s Program Coordinator, while Morgan Blum Schneider, JFCS Holocaust Center’s Director of Education, introduced me to the audience.