On this mini-term, the faculty leader and the local activist Dr. Michael Lozman will take students on a learning and service journey, exploring the European-Union countries of Poland and Lithuania, where during the Second World War, some of the main events of the Holocaust took place. The first 10 days will be spent in Poland. Students will visit the Auschwitz Memorial and Museum near Krakow, the Jewish Ghetto museum in Warsaw, and other historical sites. They will also visit theaters, festivals, and restaurants to explore the local culture. The last ten days of the trip the students will spend in Lithuania, where they will stay with local families in a village near Vilnius (the capital) and work to restore an abandoned Jewish cemetery.
Course of Study
History: Visiting historical sites of the Holocaust and the Second World War will help students connect to the events of the past.
The Present: At the same time, seeing first-hand how cultural attitudes and people in Eastern Europe have changed in three generations will increase students’ global awareness and cultural competency. These objectives will also be achieved through students’ living with families in Lithuania. Students will be prepared to be culturally sensitive and to represent themselves, Union, and even the US; to make personal connections with Eastern Europeans; to work alongside others for a common goal.
History and the Present Connected: by restoring an abandoned Jewish cemetery in Lithuania, students will actively participate in helping a community to honor the Jewish heritage of the village and to come to terms with the past.
Reflection: Students will be required to keep a diary of their impressions, thoughts, and ideas. The goal is introspection (increasing self-knowledge) and awareness of both human differences and human universals (increasing knowledge about the Other).
More Information about the Restoration of Eastern European Jewish Cemeteries Project: