Holocaust (Shoah) Education at CESJDS

The study and remembrance of the Holocaust is a critical component of a CESJDS education. Students commemorate and learn about the Shoah throughout their time at the school and over the course of each academic year. 

Our Philosophy and Approach

The Holocaust was a collective experience that left a lasting mark on individuals and the Jewish people. Our philosophy for Holocaust education and programming places the individual at the center. We encourage students at each age level to connect to the Shoah and the history of the Jewish people in meaningful ways. Students are asked to consider what the implications of the Holocaust are for themselves, the Jewish people, and humanity. We mark the memory of the Shoah annually through our Yom HaShoah V’Hagvurah commemorations (Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day), including the Moment of Silence dedicated by the Bassin Family in honor of Morley Potash.

Learn more about Holocaust education in each division

Lower School  Middle School  High School

Our Goals for Students for Holocaust Education are:

  • To develop an understanding that the Holocaust was a watershed event in history and for the Jewish people specifically.
  • To learn why, how, what, when, and where the Holocaust took place, including the key historical trends/antecedents that led up to and culminated in the “final solution.”
  • Wrestle with the choices that individuals, groups, and nations made in response to the Nazi dictatorship and the violence and terror it caused, as well as the aspects of human behavior that contributed to those choices.
  • To make connections between universal themes related to democracy, citizenship, racism, and anti-Semitism that Holocaust history raises and to the world today.
  • To understand their responsibilities as Jews and global citizens to make choices that help bring about a more just and compassionate world.
  • To memorialize the victims and learn from the survivors of the Holocaust in order to honor our commitment to Never Forget and to prevent genocide in the future.

Irene and Daniel Simpkins Capstone Senior Trip

The culmination of CESJDS Holocaust commemoration and education occurs as part of the Irene and Daniel Simpkins Capstone Senior Trip, post-graduation. As part of their semester in Israel, CESJDS students spend more than a week in Poland and the Czech Republic learning about Jewish life and Jewish communities pre-Shoah; visiting the sites of ghettos, concentration and death camps; and memorializing those who perished. 


The following resources inform our approach to Holocaust (Shoah) Education at CESJDS and provide additional information for families and students of various ages to learn about the Shoah.

We are grateful for the generous support of the following endowed funds and named programs/positions which enable our work in Holocaust (Shoah) Education and Remembrance:

  • Moment of Silence dedicated by the Bassin Family in honor of Tobi’s father Morley Potash
  • The Friedman Cohen Holocaust Fund
  • Gabry Family Endowment
  • Isadore and Bertha Gudelsky History Department Chair
  • Krifcher Family Endowment Fund
  • The Sara and Samuel J. Lessans Jewish History Department
  • Donna and Ronald Oser Family Endowment
  • Eileen J. and Laurence E. Rubin Memorial Fund for Scholarship Endowment
  • Evonne and Elliot Schnitzer Family Endowment
  • Schonfeld Family Scholarship, In Memory of Dr. Gustav Schonfeld Grandfather of David (13), Brian (15), and Aaron (17), Established by Miriam Schonfeld and Suzanne and Josh Schonfeld
  • Irene and Daniel Simpkins Israel Education Fund and Irene and Daniel Simpkins Senior Capstone Israel Trip