Sunday, January 11, 2009

Jewish Culture Project

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After a month of studying the Holocaust, (listening to a rabbi speak, decorating doors in facets of Jewish culture, learning Hebrew after school) Moo Moo Book Club members got the experience of a lifetime. When Holocaust survivor and author of November club pick (Bondi's Brother), visited MCHS, Holocaust education came to life. Club members got to shake hands with a man who lived through Aushwitz and who wound up at MCHS to tell his story. Irving Roth visited Montgomery County High School on Dec. 12th of 2008, and although school was canceled for snow, more than 150 people were in attendance for his presentation. His story was harrowing, and his charge to the crowd was heavy. He challenged listeners to act when injustice surfaces. He also challenged listeners to remember that he was there when people try to say that the Holocaust never happened. The crowd was silent as students entered into an agreement with Mr. Roth that they would make the world a better place, and that they would remember the Holocaust.

After his presentation, the group traveled with Irving Roth, and the directors of the Holocaust Educator's Network in New York City, to Ohavay Zion Synagogue in Lexington, Kentucky. There students took part in a service with Irving Roth; many could hear him singing along in Hebrew and watched him to know when to sit and to stand. This interaction changed these students forever.

When the service ended, students learned about Jewish culture as the synagogue's congregation welcomed them into the fellowship hall for Oneg (snacks and fellowship). Students got to see a replica of a typical family's table on Shabbat (the Sabbath day), and they learned to play dreidel from the OZS youth group. It was a wonderful time of breaking cultural barriers and learning to accept and love others.

The evening ended at Rafferty's in Hamburg Pavillion as students took a meal with our esteemed guests. The sounds of laughter and silverware clinking filled the air as students left a mark in history.