At the end of every academic year, it is time for the teens on the Youth Philanthropy Board to finally present their grants to their grantees after almost ten months. These teens have been put on a team mission to identify an issue and obtain grants that rectify the said issue. This year, the teens decided to focus on something that the Jewish community has been tackling for a lifetime: antisemitism. K-12 students in America have seen a 49% increase in anti-Semitic incidents within their schools. This shows how much antisemitism is affecting children. In their mission to discover how to stop antisemitism, the board saw that Holocaust education was the best choice in changing the minds of the future. The East Valley JCC saw a great chance to help the board meet their goal. The JCC has a Holocaust education program where students are guided through the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp and learn about responsibility and the consequences of hate. The program hopes to reach six-million people across all ages and backgrounds within the next 6 years. Scottsdale Arts also has an amazing project that they are bringing into classrooms across the valley. The Hope Chest, as it’s known, is a curriculum and complete set of teaching resources designed to immerse students in the life of prisoners of the Holocaust. The authentic World War II-era trunk includes many historic pieces and journals for the students to reflect in. Lastly, the board decided to donate money to the Anti-Defamation League for their continued support in reporting incidents and bringing justice to the victims of antisemitism. All of these organizations take a big part in filling the void of the lacking Holocaust education resources available to teachers. With the Holocaust being a mandated subject in schools, it is very important that resources are of the highest quality to have the largest impact. It is also important to see what YOU can do to help our future generations and VOTE in the right people to support them.
Daniel Monheit is a rising Senior at Pinnacle High School and a member of Congregation Beth Israel.
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