HAFTR and Lawrence create ‘Names Not Numbers’


As the culminating event of the yearlong Names Not Numbers Holocaust Memorial Project, the HAFTR and Lawrence Middle School communities gathered on June 2 to view the documentary created by the eighth grade students of both schools.

Through joint participation throughout the school year, select students from both schools studied the history of the Holocaust and visited the Museum of Tolerance and the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

The students learned interviewing techniques from seasoned newsman Jeff Bessen, editor of the Nassau Herald, and honed their videography skills through Sandra Stakic.

The students recorded their interviews with Holocaust survivors Ivan Gluck, Lisa Bernstein, Eva Rosner, Toby Levy, Judy Mandel, Joseph Hecht, Blanche Hecht and Helene Wolfson, and wove the footage into a moving memorial to those who perished and a tribute to the heroes who survived.

Over 300 guests filled the auditorium at HAFTR High School. The program included reflections by students Emilzy Zrihen of HAFTR and Jacqueline Blyudoy of LMS. Principal Willis Perry and Dr. Rochelle Brand both spoke about the importance of this project as a means of educating future generations to appreciate cultural diversity and promote tolerance. 

HAFTR Faculty Adviser Ariana Wolfson, in conjunction with LMS Guidance Counselor Brian Donaghy, guided the students throughout the year to see this project to fruition. 

This project was conceived by educator Tova Fish Rosenberg.