Bnai Torah Religious School joins statewide Holocaust Learning Trunk Project

The Commission's statewide Holocaust Learning Trunk Project is broadening for the 2012-2013 academic year. The project is supported by the Georgia Department of Education. At least 20 trunks filled with educational materials about the Holocaust will be available to middle school teachers throughout Georgia. The new trunks will launch in school districts throughout the state this fall.

The exterior of each trunk is decorated by students in metro-Atlanta. Students at Bnai Torah Religious School in Sandy Springs were among the first to decorate a trunk this spring. The trunk is currently on display at Anne Frank in the World in Sandy Springs.

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The students titled the trunk "From Darkness to Light." Their artwork aims to send a message to the students who will use the materials inside.

The names of various concentration camps are written on the bottom of the trunk, along with the date of liberation and names of survivors. The top of the trunk is decorated with the Israeli flag.

This shows how the Jewish people went from suffering and depression to freedom." - Hildy Newman, 6th-grade student

One side of the trunk also displays felt replicas of the different colored badges camp prisoners were required to wear. These badges were used to identify inmates as part of the Nazi's target groups: Jews, Gypsies, Freemasons, Jehovahs Witnesses, and others.

It was a dark time for the world. Not only were 6 million Jews killed but many others were killed that were not Jews. These people were killed because they were disabled, homosexual, or Communists. People who were caught saving Jews or any of these people were killed also." -Ava Kaplan, 5th-grade student

The Trunk Project combines art and history to connect students across the state as they learn about the Holocaust. By decorating a trunk, the students at Bnai Torah Religious School have opportunity to share what they learned.

Together we can remember this tragedy. This trunk, this tiny piece of remembrance, can help contribute to it." - Robbie, 5th-grade student

Gary Alexander, chair of the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust advisory committee, is a member of Congregation Bnai Torah and one of the individual trunk sponsors who are supporting the project.

My family sponsored a trunk because it is a wonderful teaching tool. This trunk project should remind us that civilized, educated people have always found scapegoats to blame for economic, political, and financial problems that affect us all."- Gary Alexander

The trunk will be on display at the Anne Frank in the World until the end of summer. It will be packed with books and distributed to schools in the fall. Other schools and organizations are welcome to participate in decorating a trunk. More information can be found on the Trunk Decorating webpage.

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