Teachers Workshop - Heroes of the Holocaust

November 15, 2011, 4:30 - 7:30
West Lafayette Pubic Library

FREE workshop for area educators

Rabbi Shira Leibowitz, upper elementary principal of Solomon Schechter School of Westchester in Westchester, New York, will present an interactive workshop that will be held this year at the West Lafayette Public Library on November 15 from 4:30 until 7:30. The workshop is completely free and Subway is providing sandwiches for supper at no cost. If you would like to attend, just let me know by November 10. I have attached a flyer advertising the workshop. All teachers are invited to attend, so come with a friend!

The workshop has relevance for educators from upper elementary through high school. The workshop will explore the topic of what Holocaust Rescuers can teach students and teachers about making our schools and communities better places.

As Rabbi Leibowitz writes, “Holocaust education at its best is character education. And, among the many moral questions learning about the Holocaust raises, perhaps the most compelling is why individuals behaved as they did: perpetrators, bystanders, and yes, rescuers. Remarkably, little sociological data can distinguish between individuals recruited into police battalions and charged with doing despicable acts, bystanders struggling merely to get by, and heroic rescuers who risked their lives in order to do what they could to save Jews. Typical explanations from each group include: "I didn't do anything extraordinary. I did what anybody in my situation would have done." And yet, a relatively small group, comprising less than ½ of 1 percent of the population living under Nazi occupation, behaved with extraordinary compassion and moral courage. Delving further into rescuers' backgrounds, sociologists and social psychologists have uncovered secrets to their goodness. The answers as to what distinguished, empowered, and propelled Holocaust rescuers may surprise and inspire us and our students. The sources of their compassion and moral courage may enable us to become a bit more like them, developing strength of character that we can utilize to better our schools and our communities.”

RSVP: by November 10
Sarah Pawley, English Department Chair, McCutcheon High School,
email: spowley at tsc dot k12 dot in dot us, phone: 765-463-1648

Dinner provided by Subway.

Rabbi Shira Leibowitz

Rabbi Shira Leibowitz has been Lower School Principal at Schechter Westchester since 2000. Long committed to day school education, Rabbi Leibowitz first came to the world of day school as a sixth grader at The Solomon Schechter Day School of Essex and Union in West Orange, New Jersey, where she stayed through High School graduation. She continued on to Cornell University, majoring in American Studies and graduating Magna Cum Laude and with Distinction in all subjects.

Initially planning on a career in journalism, Shira Leibowitz’s connection to Jewish study and community drew her to Rabbinical School. She was ordained as a rabbi from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1993 and completed a doctorate in Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1998.

Rabbi Leibowitz held a number of positions in Jewish Education prior to arriving at Schechter Westchester. She served as Education Director at Camp Ramah in New England and then as Assistant National Ramah Director. She also served as Judaic Studies Department Chair and taught both Bible and Talmud at the Solomon Schechter High School in Manhattan during the school’s first two years in existence. Rabbi Leibowitz left Schechter High School to return to her alma mater, The Solomon Schechter Day School of Essex and Union, in the capacity of Associate Principal, primarily responsible for Judaic Studies. She was soon promoted to Lower School Principal at The Solomon Schechter Day School of Essex and Union, the position she held immediately prior to becoming Lower School Principal at Schechter Westchester.