Spring is a season filled with things to do. Basketball playoffs, Spring cleaning, gardening and yardwork, and school breaks fill our days and our calendars. At the Stan Greenspon Center the story is the same! Our days are full of life and activity.
Last week we welcomed a team from Fr. Patrick Dubois’ Yahad-In-Unum to the Queens University campus for a two-day teacher workshop about The Holocaust By Bullets. The educators spent 16 hours learning about the methodology of extermination used before the gas chambers were built at the Nazi death camps. They wrestled with the difficult truths associated with the Einsatzgruppen (special SS and police units) as they exterminated tens of thousands of innocent Jewish men and women literally face-to-face. Participants left the seminar deeply moved and ready to bring these hard lessons to their students. Thanks to Novant Health and The Schwartz Family for their generous support of this event.
On March 18th, from 6:30 – 8:30pm
we join the Queens University Community for a showing of “Raise the Roof” a documentary film that follows artists Rick and Laura Brown as they restore one of the greatest wooden synagogues of 18th century Poland. Rick and Laura will be on hand after the film to discuss the process of how a team of artists, historians, architects, Jewish scholars and others came together to reconstruct this lost piece of history.
We continue to bring Becoming One Human Family program to high schools and middle schools in the surrounding areas. On March 27, we are taking 10 presenters for the Rowan-Salisbury third annual WWII and Holocaust Symposium. A new adventure begins as we collaborate with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Library system in teaching MAUS to incarcerated youth.
Looking ahead to April, things do not slow down one bit!
On April 4th, we welcome educators from throughout North Carolina to an Echoes and Reflections workshop focused on the areas of: Antisemitism, Rescue and non-Jewish Resisters, and Teaching the Holocaust through Art. This program is free and open to all High shool and Middle school teachers from public and private shools systems. To find out more or register, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Becoming One Human Family Program is scheduled for five more schools. If you or your school is interested in bringing this program to your location, contact email@example.com. Many thanks to the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte for funding this program.
We have two incredible programs scheduled in partnership with Centropa, the Levine Jewish Community Center and the Hanns Seidel Foundation of Washington and Munich.
Through a Deutschland Jahr 2019 grant of the German Embassy in Washington, we will host two days of lecture and film. On April 16, a session titled “Germany Today, Facing the Past and the Future of Memory” will take place at the Sam Lerner Center for Cultural Arts at the Levine JCC at Shalom Park. On April 17, we invite educators and the community to join us for “Teaching the Past in the Future. Using personal stories in Holocaust education. A view from Greensboro and Charlotte, Vienna and Munich” in Ketner Auditorium on the Queens University of Charlotte campus. Visit our website for more information and to register: https://www.stangreensponcenter.org/2019/03/11/two-days-two-events-and-youre-invited-to-both/
We end our month with a one-of-a-kind event: A NC Premier of the film “Close to Evil,” followed by international author and speaker, Alexandra Senfft. “Close to Evil” traces the journey of one Holocaust survivor as he reaches out to the daughter of a Nazi who worked at the camp where many of his family members were killed. Along the way, he meets Alexandra.
Alexandra is the granddaughter of a Nazi. Hanns Elard Ludin was Alexandra’s maternal grandfather. Ludin joined the Nazi party and the SA-storm troopers in 1931 and became the German envoy to Slovakia. He was found guilty of being directly involved in the deportation of some 70,000 Jews. He was hanged for war crimes in 1947 in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Alexandra speaks about the lasting legacy of silence on the descendants of Nazi perpetrators as well as the need to seek forgiveness and reconciliation. For more information and to register, please visit our website: https://www.stangreensponcenter.org/2019/03/06/nc-premier-of-close-to-evil-and-discussion-with-author-alexandra-senfft/
Donna Tarney: Amid many Spring events was an interview with Marc Lamont Hill by Mike Collins of Charlotte Talks (March 18th- 9am and rerun 7pm, also archived on WFAE site). Hill is a journalist and educator who has examined police violence in the USA, and has recently attempted to criticize Israeli state violence and injustice against Palestinians, arguing that this is a civic duty and need not pertain to hatred of Jews in general. The subject is unnecessarily sensitive because most people are poorly informed, and because of vested interests and dishonest lobbying. I think that anyone seeking peace in these areas could benefit from hearing Mike and Marc’s interview, and by following leads generated by that discussion. Decent people agree that an asymmetry exists between police and the public, especially between police and the disadvantaged, and between police and peaceful picketers. Something worse but highly similar is undeniable in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel itself. The more people wanting to be part of a fix the sooner things will improve. I agree with Marc Lamont Hill who has made personal sacrifices in exercising his civic duty responsibly.