I recently facilitated a workshop in San Diego on the Reconstruction Era; it was a wonderful experience engaging with educators looking to teach US history through the lens of “identity and agency.” There was, of course, so much more I wish we could have covered about this “unfinished revolution;” this pivotal period in US history, that in some sense, “never ended,” as historian Eric Foner describes it.
Operation Finale, starring Sir Ben Kingsley, Oscar Isaac and Haley Richardson, is now playing in theaters. Based on a true story, the film details the capture of Adolf Eichmann, the architect of the Nazi Final Solution, in Argentina in 1960.
Facing History and Ourselves, in collaboration with the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, has sponsored educator workshops this summer on the Holocaust and The Children of Willesden Lane by Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen. This book tells the story of Lisa Jura, Mona’s mother, as a Kindertransport survivor. Teachers will receive copies of The Children of Willesden Lane for their students, be invited to tour the the museum, and attend concert performances by Mona Golabek at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in October.
One of the lessons The Children of Willesden Lane teaches is about the complexities of living during a time when Jewish people were faced with a decreasing range of choices in Nazi Germany leading to the Holocaust. Lisa Jura’s story teaches us what it means to be a refugee, to be alone, and nationless. Even though she escaped the concentration camps, she was not spared the pain of her parents’ deaths and the concern over the fates of her sisters. I am reminded of the point in the book where the war has ended and Lisa’s schoolmates are celebrating in the streets. The end of the war marked the beginning of a devastating time for Lisa and her Jewish friends who had to find out what had happened to their family members outside of England. The story beautifully ties together the themes of family and history.
Why is it important to learn about this history?
Liz Vogel, Los Angeles Director for Facing History and Ourselves, shares some thoughts and upcoming opportunities for Southern California educators as schools start the school year.
Each year, Los Angeles Facing History Partnership Schools are invited to nominate upstanders in their school community - individuals and groups whose actions have made a difference in the lives of others. In 2018, we are pleased to recognize the following upstanders, each described in the words of their nominator
Today’s News, Tomorrow’s History is an ongoing series with Listenwise. This series connects Facing History’s themes with today’s current events using public radio to guide and facilitate discussions around the social issues of our time. Listenwise is a regular feature on our Facing Today blog, and we are happy to now launch a special California series with Listenwise where we make connections to issues as they are particularly relevant for Californians.
Education is often the key to successful integration of immigrants and refugees into new countries. Understanding the laws of the country for newly arrived people is also critical. In Sacramento, California a new program was started to help refugees and immigrants understand their legal rights in the United States. The goal of the “Understanding Your Rights” program in Sacramento is to protect the rights of every individual who comes in contact with the legal system and provide understanding of the laws if they become the victim of crime or when renting housing, as well as to understand their constitutional rights and civic responsibilities.
April 4 was the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. The impact that Dr. King made spanned not just the South nor just the U.S. but influenced and continues to influence people around the world to raise their voices, pick up their pens, and speak of justice for all. Dr. King built on the momentum of Gandhi and made nonviolent protest an essential pillar of any civil rights movement. We see this influence even 50 years later in the life and assassination of Hrant Dink.
Looking for inspiration? The California Council for the Social Studies holds its annual conference next week in San Diego and we have many activities to share! Not yet registered? There is still time to register. In addition to all of the sessions below where you can find Facing History, Sunday includes a live Gubernatorial Candidates Forum and administrators with one or more teachers registered for the conference can attend the Administrator's Colloquim for free!