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    Pinewood Holocaust Remembrance Day

    Remembering the Holocaust and letting students entirely lead the event can be described as the definition of a challenge. Such is the horror that the victims experienced and so strong the emotions arising from studying the history of those times that mistakes of any sort can very easily be made. And yet, having faith in the capacities of students to create, investing in their talent, and pushing them to meet their own fears of presenting in public can only lead to fruitful results. Accordingly, History IB2, History IB1, and World History 10 students dared to compose authentic music precisely for that event, they wrote original poems, and they conducted historical research of such depth that, in the words of a college professor honoring the event with her presence, “all this was of high academic quality.”  Such is the outcome when we ask our students to be curious, creative, and caring thinkers.

    The Holocaust Remembrance Day at Pinewood aimed at a few more, equally significant educational objectives. It allowed the participants and the audience to reflect on the nightmares of the past, the challenges of the present, and the commitment for a future free of prejudice and discrimination. It created empathy with the victims and helped to preserve their memory, so that such an atrocity against humanity may not be repeated. It increased awareness about the dangers inherent in the xenophobic rhetoric that is gaining ground worldwide. Perhaps more important, it fostered a notion of personal responsibility among all of us to defend and protect human rights all over the world, so that this crime may never happen again.

    ~ Dr. Apostolos Rofaelas