Holocaust Survivors Speak to Students at Stewart Manor
As part of a schoolwide effort to learn about diversity and tolerance, fifth and sixth-graders at Stewart Manor School in the Elmont School District listened as Holocaust survivors Rachel Glietman and Bernard Igielski shared their survival stories on Jan. 16. Mr. Igielski and Mrs. Glietman, both members of the JCC of the Five Towns Holocaust Survivors group and featured in the documentary “Paperclips,” told their individual stories of enduring life in concentration camps and the lessons they took away from those experiences. They emphasized the importance of forgiveness, tolerance, hope and acceptance. Students asked questions at the conclusion of the presentation and presented the honored guests with an anthology of the students’ written poetry – a response to the books and poems they have read.
The visit coincided with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the students’ study of the history of social injustice. Prior to the presentation, Lynne Lizzo’s fifth-grade class sat down with the visitors and discussed what they have been learning. Each student spoke about a different book, poem or movie that they read or watched pertaining to intolerance. All fifth- and sixth-graders also studied various materials related to social injustice throughout history in preparation of Mr. Igielski and Mrs. Glietman’s visit to the school.
Principal Hope Kranidis commented, “We talk about tolerance, diversity and experiences that people have been through that make them stronger. But when we hear firsthand from the people who have been through such heart wrenching situations it leaves a lasting impression on children. The universal message is one of forgiveness, acceptance and respect for our differences.”