East Meadow HS holds Holocaust Awareness Week

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Members of East Meadow High School’s Expressing Pride in Israeli Culture (EPIC) club and Social Studies Honor Society held an awareness week for students to understand the atrocities of the Holocaust.

East Meadow resident and Holocaust survivor Alex Konstantyn spoke to students about how his mother saved his life by escaping Varenz, Poland, during World War II. He discussed how his family disguised as Polish refugees, using his father’s gold coins to buy food, water and shelter, to hide from the Nazis. After much suffering, including the murder of his father, Mr. Konstantyn and his mother were liberated by Russian soldiers in 1944 and immigrated to Israel.

Following his deployment by the Israel Defense Forces, Mr. Konstantyn moved to the United States, where he graduated from Pace University and the Jewish Theological Seminary. He has devoted his life to Jewish education, serving as principal of the East Meadow Jewish Center Religious School for 26 years.

To continue the week of awareness, members of EPIC and the Social Studies Honor Society organized a Holocaust Museum, through which they educated fellow classmates about the Holocaust, genocide and other massacres.   

As part of the museum, EMHS senior Jake Weiner shared his experiences in Israel and Poland through his participation with the March of the Living, an international educational program that brings individuals to Poland and Israel in order to study the history of the Holocaust.

In addition, East Meadow students signed peace cards and placed them in a suitcase, symbolizing the commitment and stance they have taken to promote tolerance in memory of all the innocent lives who were victims of war crimes, violence and hate.