Dear Colleagues (In Particular, Vladka Meed),
I’ll be departing the cold, snowy confines of Flint, Michigan and heading out for sunny Johannesburg, South Africa soon. Specifically, depart Jan. 7 to teach at a high school in Kempton Park, a suburb of Johannesburg–thanks to a year grant awarded through the Fulbright Commission, U.S. State Dept.
Interestingly, one of the classes I’ll be teaching at Norkem Park H.S. begins with teaching WWII and the Holocaust. The book the students use is not very rich in content, so I will be able to suppliment the course with many of the resources and background I acquired from the experience I had in Israel in 1986, thanks to The American Gathering. It was very interesting to me when I opened their text up and found a swastika juxtoposed next to the Star of David (never seen it that way before…). And it was next to a page-size portrait of Hitler. It’s going to be a very interesting experience to teach the Holocaust there, I think. I think I must be the oldest graduate of the Holocaust studies through you folks that is still out there teaching about the Holocaust. The administration wants me to conduct some history workshops for their staff and I’m sure they’ll be picking my brain for ideas on teaching the Holocaust.
Vladka, this old fellow is still plugging away…you and Ben are my inspiration, as you’ve been to hundreds, if not thousands, of others. I hope to see you again someday…certainly after I complete my year in S. Africa. And yes, my wife Svetlana (from Russia), and our little (now) 6-yr old, Ivan J.J., will accompany me there. Ivan is fluent in English and Russian and speaks a few words in French, Spanish, and Korean. We are hoping he can pick up on an indigenous language in S.A. while we’re there.
Best to you always,
John Davidek