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The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


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Never forget, never again: Arizona educators learn how to inform about Holocaust

Educators from around the state of Arizona gather to listen to guest speaker Charlotte Adelman, a Holocaust survivor, share her experience. Along with Adelman is Anthony Fusco and Adelman’s son, Mark. (Photo courtesy of Jacob Flaws)

During 1933-1945, the traumatic and devastating genocide known as the Holocaust occurred throughout Europe killing approximately six million Jews. Not only were Jews stripped of humanity but also were groups of minorities, people with disabilities, and homosexuals. In efforts to educate students on the topic, The Murray and Sabina Zemel z”l Educators Conference was hosted for teachers from throughout Arizona.

The conference, currently run by Charlotte Adelman a Holocaust survivor and Anthony Fusco the AZJHS Education Coordinator, took place on October 24 in Phoenix. The all-day conference was held both at Burton Barr Central Library and the Arizona Jewish Historical Society. 

The conference has been held for the past decade for educators of Arizona in order to spread the survivors’ stories.

Jacob Flaws, chair of the conference’s planning committee, explained House Bill 2241 which requires students in Arizona to be taught about the Holocaust or other genocides in either the 7th or 8th grades, and once in high school. 

“The goal of the conference is to help teachers find the resources and expertise to meet the mandate of the state; we want to make sure that we are at the forefront of helping teachers be able to teach about the Holocaust and other genocides in a way that they feel comfortable,” Flaws said.

Not only did educators who attended the conference learn about how to teach the future generation about the Holocaust but they grasped a stronger understanding of genocide.

Ileen Welty, chair of Xavier College Preparatory’s history department, attended the conference and elaborated that anyone can never be done learning about a topic such as the Holocaust.

“The reason why we as teachers go to these conferences is to never forget. Part of the ‘never forget’ is the commitment to those who died in the Holocaust in their name to continue to teach about this genocide,” Welty said.

It’s a calling on educators. This is one of your duties: to make sure that the next generation understands the Holocaust and other genocides

— Ileen Welty

The theme of “never forget” was demonstrated throughout the conference by videotapes of the Holocaust and Generation I and Generation II survivors of this genocide sharing their parents’ stories. 

Listening to the dehumanizing stories and experiences of the events of the Holocaust made the conference a spot of vulnerability to many attendees. The conference planned accordingly, allowing for breaks in between guest speakers so that teachers could talk with peers.  

The seven featured guest speakers were Brian Horowitz, researcher; Ashley Crose, an area teacher; Kim Klett, a retired area teacher; Miriam Libicki, a graphic novelist and writer; Roberta Grossman, a well-known filmmaker; Adelman and Fusco.

Brittany Ecker, one of Xavier’s sophomore theology teachers who attended the conference, explained that after listening to the stories of the guest speakers she empathized with the Jewish communities who feared during this time. 

“For someone who is not Jewish, I became more aware of the fear the Jewish-Americans have, just given that they are Jewish,” said Ecker.

The Murray and Sabina Zemel z”l Educators Conference ensures its purpose is to try to have others empathize and to find the beginning stages of genocide in order to end the cycle.

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  • A

    AshleyDec 8, 2023 at 8:12 am

    Charley Fisher has such an insightful point of view on such a sensitive topic. Proud of you!

  • J

    JessicaDec 8, 2023 at 8:10 am

    Charley Fisher is such an inspiration to freshwomen at Xavier who aspire to be writers one day. I love reading all the articles written by her for she has such a wonderful perspective.