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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Witness Theater Participants Visit Museum of Jewish Heritage

Yeshivah of Flatbush seniors and Holocaust survivors part of our Witness Theater program took part in an unforgettable trip to the Museum of Jewish Heritage. To walk through the exhibit, which depicts life before, during and after the Holocaust, with the survivors who actually lived through it, was both horrifying and inspiring. After so many months of hearing the survivors' stories, we were finally able to see so many of the things they have been speaking about. From the mundane objects of shtetl life to the giant swastika flags that hung at Nazi rallies, suddenly it all became even more real. For the adults this was not an easy trip. To walk through their own past was to relive so many deep memories and nightmares. But as they say every Wednesday, "if we don't speak about these things now, the past will be forgotten forever." The trip was not easy for the students either, as they have grown to love these adults and had a hard time seeing the graphic reality of what they had gone through. Many tears were shed, by both old and young. And yet, as we walked hand in hand through the halls of the exhibit and ended our tour with a clear view of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, we did not lose sight of the incredible support network that we have created amongst ourselves over the last few months. And despite the tragic reality of the past, the adults took comfort in knowing that because of Witness Theater, the stories will never be forgotten. And even more importantly, that their stories and legacies will move on into the future in the form of our incredible students who are sure to take this experience and make a positive difference in our future world.