Holocaust Memorial Day Service 2008
On Saturday, May 3, 2008 the public Holocaust
Memorial Day service - Yom haShoah - was held at Birchwood Intermediate. The
guest speaker was Mr. Leo Adler, the Director of National Affairs for Friends of
Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Studies in Toronto. Mr. Adler is the son
of Holocaust survivors. He spoke about various aspects of the Holocaust and what
that means for humanity. Mr. Adler is a frequent speaker and consultant on
issues of war crimes, human rights, terrorism, and Canada’s national security.
Mr. Adler spoke again on Monday when Yom haShoah was held for the staff and
students at Birchwood. Both services also featured the students from the Human
Rights and Holocaust Studies program, who did a dramatic presentation and
reflection on the Holocaust. Monday’s service also included one of our staff
members, Ms. Rioux. As a personal commemoration of the Holocaust she had her
head shaved. The victims of the Holocaust were stripped of their identities by
having their names replaced by numbers, and by having their heads shaved. We
give little thought to how our hair identifies us. Without it, mothers often
cannot recognize their children, sisters cannot recognize sisters, and friends
are no longer able to pick friends out of a crowd. Ms. Rioux is donating her
hair to Locks for Love - an organization which makes wigs for cancer victims.
Human Rights and Holocaust Studies
In May 2008, a group of approximately thirty students from Birchwood
Intermediate School in Charlottetown will be participating in the Human Rights
and Holocaust Studies Program, initiated by the Asper Foundation of Winnipeg.
This is part of a nation-wide educational initiative to involve grade nine
students in the study of human rights and the Holocaust. As a result of this
participation the students will visit the Holocaust Memorial Museum in
Washington, D.C., and area, in May 2008. During the 2005/06 school year
Birchwood became the first school on Prince Edward Island to participate in this
program, with resounding success. We look forward to being a part of this
valuable program once again.
Participating students are required to complete:
* 16 hours of community service
* 18 hours of seminars, outside of regular classroom studies
* fund raising
* a journal related to this study and the trip
This is a family commitment as well as a commitment on behalf of the students.
The goals of the program include increasing awareness of cultural diversity and
the rights of all people regardless of race or religion. Through the educational
component of the program students learn about the impact that racism,
intolerance, and prejudice can have on our society. In the words of Edward
Everett Hale, “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do
something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”
For further information, please contact Jo-Anne White (teacher-librarian) at
Holocaust Memorial Services 2007
The Birchwood annual Holocaust Memorial Services were held April 24. The service featured
guest speaker Holocaust survivor David Korn as well as a presentation by
students. The Holocaust Memorial Services provides a learning opportunity to help us
understand the effects that intolerance, prejudice, and racism can have on
people and also to honor the eleven million victims of The Holocaust.
Special thank you to students Nadine, Daniel, Rebeccah, A.J., Chelsea, Sara,
Ashley, Brittany, Mitch, and Sam for their memorable dramatic presentation and
their participation. Many positive compliments were received.
Also a sincere thank you to Ms. Jo-Anne White for her dedication and passion to
promote healthy ways of being, sharing, and living. Through the Human Rights and
the Holocaust Studies program, Birchwood students learn that they can make a
difference and many lives will be forever changed and our world will be a better
There will be an information session for grade 9 (2008-2009) students and
parents who may be interested in participating in the Human Rights and Holocaust
Memorial Studies program during the 2007-2008 school year on May 15 at 7pm in
the school library. Only students who are in grade eight this year are
eligible. The program involves after-school study, fund raising, volunteer
and community service work followed by a trip to Washington, D.C. in May 2008 to
visit the Holocaust Memorial Museum.