Fifth graders grappled with big topics this week, demonstrating their maturity, sensitivity and humanity. Monday morning, students gathered to watch the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Surrounded by their teachers and administrators, students sat in reverent silence while bearing witness to the historic event. One student poignantly offered, “Thank you for letting us experience this.” Throughout the morning there were many questions from the class, though the toughest to answer was the simplest to ask… “Why?”
To wrap-up the morning, the teachers reiterated the importance of remembering – remembering in order to prevent future atrocities, remembering to be vigilant for our own people and others, remembering to be tolerant of differences, and remembering to question what we do not understand.
With these messages still very much in mind, the fifth graders headed off to meet with our special guests, the Galilee Dreamers, a delegation of Jewish and Arab high school students and teachers from Israel who travel together to communities around the world to educate about Israeli culture, tolerance, and co-existence. Once again, our students exhibited their ability to wrestle with complicated issues. Students questioned the Jewish and Arab teenagers about their experiences in Israel with open minds and an eagerness to understand. Afterward, the Galilee Dreamers told us how impressed they were with the wisdom and insight of our students.
At Perelman, we instill a deep love of Judaism and Israel while encouraging our students to question, interpret, and find their own meaning in complexity. We are proud of our students’ strength, resilience, and ability to think critically.