Started in 2015, the Together, Restoring Their Names initiative implements Holocaust memory service-learning in the Boston area. Student fellows work to improve the quality of Holocaust education on campus, as well as serve the local survivor community. Although the initiative is part of CJP’s IACT campus initiative for Birthright Israel alumni, participation is open to students of any, or no, religious background. At the core of each fellow’s experience is a personal project they undertake for the initiative, based on the programmatic goals below.
Our core programmatic areas:
With fellows at colleges and universities across the Greater Boston area, such as Harvard University, MIT, Wellesley College, Boston University and Brandeis University, the initiative organizes programs about the Shoah year-round. This year’s content will include survivor talks on campus, student presentations about the Holocaust and increased use of social media to commemorate victims. Some fellows will bring the initiative off campus, working to educate high school students or immigrants preparing for U.S. citizenship. We will also expand our Shoah learning “program menu” for campuses, which currently has more than three dozen suggestions.
Fellows will volunteer with the local survivor community this year, including providing transportation, organizing local events and attending to survivors’ general needs. During the spring, fellows will visit Washington, D.C., to lobby for increased support of survivors and more robust Shoah education around the country. The D.C. mission will also provide fellows with background to organize timely Holocaust Remembrance Day activities, including by making use of new content from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Select fellows will be invited to participate in a serving-learning trip to Europe. Since its creation in 2015, fellows have visited Poland for a trip focused on active memory and Germany for a trip focused on women in the Shoah. Some of this year’s fellows will visit the Netherlands in January to learn about Jewish life in that country before, during and after the war. With an emphasis on the stories of Hitler’s youngest victims, including Anne Frank, fellows will share their findings in live time on social media, as well as back on campus.
To maximize our impact, the initiative seeks to partner with and learn from Shoah-related organizations around the world. These include Yad Vashem, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Germany Close-Up and From the Depths.