Gann is pleased to announce that history teacher Shira Androphy will travel to Paris and Strasbourg, France as the recipient of the inaugural Carol Ruth Jacobs Traveling Fellowship Fund.
The fellowship, created by Jill Jacobs, Fred Haber, Ali ’09 and Joseph Haber ’11, will provide a professional development
opportunity for one Gann faculty member to travel each year. The fund has been established in memory of Jill’s beloved sister Carol Ruth Jacobs, a devoted middle school social studies teacher who shared her passion for learning-through-travel throughout her professional life.
Androphy was drawn to French history based on three Modern European History classes she taught in 2012, particularly the French Revolution and the Dreyfus Affair. Those historical events helped inspire her forthcoming journey to Paris and Strasbourg in July 2013 as both cities provide insight into the life and history of French Jews. Strasbourg was a center of Ashkenazi Jewish life in the Alsace-Lorraine region and Paris was a destination to Jews who became increasingly integrated into French society.
The fellowship provides her with the opportunity to enrich the lessons she teaches to Gann students by experiencing locations, attractions and museums firsthand.
“One of the paradoxes of teaching history is that I often find myself sharing the stories of people who I never met, of centuries in which I have not lived, and of places that I have not stepped foot in,” said Androphy.
She also plans to be in Paris for Bastille Day, the day on which France celebrates its independence. This leg of the trip is valuable for two reasons: It provides a lens into how history is celebrated and remembered and also offers a point of comparison of how different nations celebrate their independence. “I hope to bring this experience back to my students at Gann when we discuss how we, at school, celebrate not only America, but also Israel and its independence,” added Androphy.
This experience would not be possible without the generosity and vision of the Carol Ruth Jacobs Traveling Fellowship Fund. For that, Androphy is appreciative of the chance to heighten her understanding of these events through real-life exploration.
“I am grateful to the Jacobs and Haber family for providing me with this wonderful opportunity to travel to places I have read about extensively, but not had the opportunity to visit myself,” said Androphy. “It is clear that Carol Ruth Jacobs’ travels left an indelible impact not only on herself, but also on all who knew her.”
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