Holland & Knight at the airport – is the sign big enough to find everyone?
|The Holocaust Remembrance Project first place winners and selected teachers arrived on Tuesday morning and were greeted by Holland
& Knight volunteers with large signs! The conversation in the van to the hotel was lively as students told of their long flights and excitement for the week.
They were escorted to the Residence Inn Beverly Hills for an orientation and luncheon. After an early morning and long flights, the sleepiness was replaced by excitement as the students and teachers met each other and dined together. To break the ice, each participant drew a name of a fellow participant out of a hat to interview and introduce to the group.
The first speaker of the day was Renee Firestone, a survivor of Auschwitz, who opened the week of testimonies with her own story, and that of her sister's. The room was quiet as the dignified woman told of the terror of the Nazi death camp, and the evil acts that developed out of prejudice and hatred. Afterwards, our group took a picture with Renee and invited her to dinner with us that evening.
Dinner with Renee Firestone took place at Marcels in Santa Monica. There, the group had an opportunity to ask Renee questions not only of her camp experience, but her entry into the United States and her work as a noted fashion designer in Los Angeles. Renee also spoke of her work in Freedom Writers, the movie about teacher Erin Gruwell who used Holocaust education to inspire students within her inner-city classroom. After dinner, the group walked to the boardwalk and beach, got to know each other better, and saw some aspiring dancers and singers along the way.