Firsthand Learning about Primary Source Documents

By Ms. Lisa Guggenheimer

Our 2018 Names, Not Numbers work is underway here at NSHA.  On Tuesday, October 24th, our 8th Grade Students who will be creating this year’s Names, Not Numbers oral history of the Shoah film attended a seminar at The Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City. The seminar focused on the importance of primary source documents.  We are very fortunate to have this world-class institution in close proximity to our school and to have the opportunity to learn there firsthand.

Led by knowledgeable docents, the students toured the museum, providing them with a historical timeline of facts, photos and artifacts from Jewish History and the Holocaust. This was followed by a hands on interactive group activity, led by Dr. Paul Radensky, where the students identified various primary source documentation.

The students will be using their newly acquired knowledge while preparing for and conducting interviews with Holocaust survivors and creating primary source documentaries which will be archived in Yad Vashem, the Jewish Museum in Jerusalem and the Gottesman Library at Yeshiva University.

Each year, the process of creating the film and the growth and commitment we see in our students is just as remarkable as the final film itself.