MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Seniors at Margolin Hebrew Academy in East Memphis, who are involved in a year long Jewish History/Facing History and Ourselves elective class, are prepping to begin a nationally recognized program that records and archives interviews between young people and Holocaust survivors and World War II veterans called "Names, Not Numbers."
Since there is no formal journalism class at the school they invited me, Kym Clark, to give the students some pointers about good interviewing techniques. The primary objective was to help the students craft good questions and how to ask them.
In addition to learning and practicing their interview skills the students will also get instruction on how to use a film camera, sound equipment, and lighting.
The Margolin students are also researching the specific histories of the interviewees' home cities and/or countries.
Also on hand for my small part of the lesson plan was Tova Rosenberg, the founder of "Names, Not Numbers," and her filmmaker. The documentary maker/film director films students, teachers, and interviewees throughout the process, and includes the student edited interviews and produces a documentary entitled "Names, Not Numbers: A Movie in the Making."©
At a culminating event which honors the interviewees and showcases the students' work, this documentary, is screened for the school community.
To date, 5,000 students have successfully interviewed and filmed 1,500 survivors and WWII veterans, throughout the US, Canada, and Israel. All of the 150 documentary films have been accepted into the archives of the Jewish National and University Library of Israel at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
In addition, they are being archived at Yad Vashem and the Gottesman Library at Yeshiva University. "Names, Not Numbers" is a project which bequeaths the memories, stories and lessons of the Holocaust to students and inspires future generations to combat anti-Semitism and all forms of hatred and intolerance.