Thursday, July 23, 2009

From Yad Vashem to Your Child's Mind via 'Catholic' 'Education'

This should be read in tandem with THIS, THIS, and THIS.

Catholic students create Holocaust memorial exhibit

Jordan J. Hay - Jewish Tribune

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

TORONTO – A group of about 100 students from Toronto’s Neil McNeil Catholic Secondary School created a Holocaust memorial exhibit in school this year. The project, conceived and administered by Art and English teacher Mary Capin, consists of original artwork and poetry by students aged 14-18.

Capin, who studied Holocaust studies at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, feels educating students on the Holocaust is vital, “because they don’t always know.”

All of Capin’s students participated over a three-week period, either by creating a piece of mixed-media art inspired by actual Holocaust-era photographs or by composing a poem inspired by their classmate’s artwork. The one-day exhibit was held in the McNeil gymnasium.

“They were very focused on this; they took it very seriously. I told them, ‘This is not to be rushed; this is an important assignment,’” said Capin.

The display was divided into seven time-sequenced sections – Boycott of Jewish Businesses, Nuremberg Race Laws, Labelling, Ghettos, Deportation, Concentration Camps and The Final Solution – with each depicting works showcasing student’s perspectives of each category.

Capin believes similar projects should be mandatory in all school systems, citing the importance of teaching non-violence and tolerance to youth.

“They’ve become desensitized to violence; it’s disturbing. They lose the sense of humanity and human connection,” said Capin.

“These kids are being moved by it; a lot of them didn’t know,” she added.

While the exhibit is no longer on display, Capin hopes to find it a permanent home and to present the works during Holocaust Education Week in November.

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