Six PBC Teachers To Attend Summer Holocaust Seminar

Six Palm Beach County educators have been selected to receive full scholarships from the Palm Beach Fellowship of Christians & Jews to attend this summer’s Facing History and Ourselves seminar, “The Holocaust and Human Behavior.” The week-long workshop will take place July 24-28 in Brookline, Mass.

Attending will be Chrissie Ferguson (the Rosarian Academy), Steve Gordon (Western Pines Middle School), Charles Hagy Jr. (the Benjamin School), Barbara Johnson (West Boca High School), Melanie Lee (Park Vista High School) and Mark Risisky (Glades Central High School).

“I hope through this program to find ways to make my students connect on a deeper level to the Holocaust as a human tragedy in order for them to never let it, or anything like it, happen again,” Risisky said.

Lee said she is especially looking forward to the program after her experience attending a seminar at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., last February. In addition to increasing her knowledge of the Holocaust, she said she “gained a greater understanding of Cambodia, Syria and other genocides, which has inspired me to spend more time covering the topic of genocide in the 20th century with my students.”

Facing History and Ourselves is an international organization dedicated to giving teachers the tools to teach about social injustice using an interdisciplinary approach.

Established in 1993, the Palm Beach Fellowship of Christians & Jews is dedicated to promoting fellowship, understanding and respect among all religions and cultures; bringing the community together through education, dialogue and interaction; and addressing issues rooted in intolerance, anti-Semitism and unjust discrimination.

The fellowship has been sending educators to the summer program for 17 years. Local program alumni have reached an estimated 80,000 Palm Beach County students with the lessons incorporated into school curricula. This year’s attendees will report on the workshop and how they plan to utilize the lessons in their classrooms, as well as a follow-up at the end of the school year.