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David Ziskin

Superintendent of Schools

25 High Street

Fort Plain, NY 13339





Holocaust researcher speaks to Fort Plain students from JerusalemQuilt Web

About 50 eighth grade students at Fort Plain Jr./Sr. High School took a field trip to Jerusalem on Wednesday, April 10, to listen to researcher Joel Cohn reflect on stories from the Holocaust. But they didn’t actually leave Fort Plain, they utilized Skype – a piece of video conferencing software – to watch videos and ask Cohn questions.

The virtual field trip culminated a Holocaust unit taught by Jayme Bevington and Kolbe Gray. During the unit, the students studied WWII, read the novel, “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas,” and created a fabric quilt.

 Each student designed two fabric quilt squares, one symbolizing the Holocaust and genocide, and one symbolizing hope, peace, love and compassion. The teachers plan to send the quilt to the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.

“I wanted the students to have a deeper understanding of the Holocaust,” Mrs. Gray said. “We looked at the primary information and some secondary sources. We wanted them to realize that genocide didn’t just happen during the Holocaust.”Quilt images

A virtual field trip grant from Verizon made the event possible. The 45-minute session included background information on the Holocaust from Cohn, personal stories, and YouTube videos of survivor stories.

“I grew-up around survivors in New York City,” Cohn said.“When I was younger, no one wanted to tell their stories. It was too painful, too close. But times changed rapidly in 1978 and survivors began to tell their stories in dramatic fashion.”

Cohn said about 900,000 people survived the Holocaust, but only about 150,000 are still alive. He urged the students – who seemed to watch intently – to never forget what happened.

“Not in their wildest dreams did the people imagine what could have happened back then,” he said. “Its mind boggling that such an event could occur.”  

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