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Queen's-Trent Concurrent Students' Association Hosts Janusz Korczak Photo Exhibit

A photo exhibit organized by the Regional Jewish Communities of Ontario (RJCO) and hosted by the Queen's-Trent Concurrent Education Students' Association at Peter Gzowski College was officially unveiled on February 22 by Trent President Bonnie Patterson.

"Janusz Korczak and the Children of the Warsaw Ghetto" is a travelling photo exhibit that tells the story of Warsaw's Jewish children and their angel, Dr. Janusz Korczak.  Attending the official opening were Carson Phillips and Fauna Mandel of the Regional Jewish Communities of Ontario, Bruce Kurta, Public Affairs and Communications Director with the Canadian Jewish Congress and members of the Peterborough community.

Dr. Korczak was a Polish Jew who ran the Ghetto orphanage. He treated and cared for Jewish children whose parents were murdered by the Nazis. When the Ghetto was to be liquidated Polish gentiles and even the Nazi authorities offered to spare him from the fate of the orphanage's children but he refused to leave their sides.  "You do not leave a sick child in the night and you do not leave children at a time like this" was his answer to the Nazis.

In her welcoming remarks President Patterson highlighted how appropriate it was that the exhibit be displayed at Gzowski College - a residential and an academic site, and home to both the Queen's-Trent Education Program, Trent's School of Education and Professional Learning, and the Trent-Fleming Nursing Program. Dr. Korczak was a physician, author, educator and early advocate of children's rights.

On February 27, concurrent education, history and other interested students attended the Holocaust Education Teacher Training Program, developed by RJCO. The program is designed to educate teacher candidates on how to teach the Holocaust to secondary-level students, it is also designed to teach tolerance, understanding and awareness of the unique aspects of the Holocaust, as well as enhance Human Rights understanding.

The program is in its third year, says Carson Phillips, co-ordinator, Holocaust and Adult Education, adding the RJCO has taken the program into smaller communities across the province. Holocaust survivor Vera Schifftold her story and Michael Soberman spoke on classroom modeling.

Mr. Soberman told the students not to be intimidated by the subject of the Holocaust and told them at the end of the workshop, that they had a foundation and a beginning on which to build a unit on the Holocaust.

"As teachers, we have the best opportunity to influence future society," he said.

Posted March 18, 2004

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