Point educator travels to World Holocaust Remembrance Center
By Taylor J. Hale
STEVENS POINT – A Stevens Point teacher was one of 34 educators from across the country who traveled to Yad Vashem – World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem – to learn how to enlighten youth on the Holocaust.
The July trip, hosted by Echoes & Reflections, was designed to empower middle and high school teachers with the skills to educate children about the Holocaust and genocide.
Kari Beisenstein-Fink, a teacher at Stevens Point Area Senior High (SPASH), was excited to have the opportunity to be a part of the program.
“I was the only teacher from Wisconsin to go this year,” Beisenstein-Fink said. “I saw an opportunity to apply to go to Jerusalem to study there and learn more about the culture. I applied right away.”
The trip offers instructors advanced learning seminars and one-on-one time with Holocaust survivors, expanding their understanding of the sensitive and vital subject.
“Due to the rise of antisemitism, hate crimes, shootings at synagogues — there’s now an emphasis that this is something that people are forgetting about or haven’t heard about, and that it’s important,” Beisenstein-Fink explained.
Beisenstein-Fink teaches Holocaust and genocide studies at SPASH, and felt the Echoes & Reflections program offered an insight into the real-world culture of Jewish suffrage and intrepidity.
SPASH offers the educational class on genocide as an elective to juniors and seniors to inform students of antisemitic and prejudice ideologies.
“The class is something that’s unique to SPASH, but it’s becoming more common,” Beisenstein-Fink said about the class. “SPASH has been utilizing Yad Vashem Holocaust education programming for roughly 10 years to teach students.”
Echoes & Reflections works with the Anti-Defamation League, USC Shoah Foundation, and Yad Vashem on the educational seminars in Jerusalem.
Contact Taylor J. Hale at [email protected] with Portage County news and information.