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When it comes to the Holocaust and slavery in America, the rallying call to ‘Never Forget’ is one of the major themes of the Brooklyn-based non-profit School News Nationwide (SNN).
The organization embraces this theme most fully through its Words of Bonds project and its Madison Square Garden event on Sunday, Oct 18, which pays tribute to Holocaust survivors, senior descendants of slaves and educators concerned with this sordid aspect of human history.
“We started the Words of Bonds project about two years ago after we took a poll of New York City high school kids to see how many had knowledge about the Holocaust and African-American slavery and to our dismay not many did,” said SNN Executive Director Bill Tingling.
Tingling said students in the survey answered that as little as 200 died in the Holocaust instead of the six million Jews, and that as little as 500 Africans died instead of the 60 million during the 400-year transatlantic slave trade journey.
The SNN publishes a newspaper distributed in some 40 schools citywide, and part of its mission through the Words of Bonds project is to make sure such human atrocities never happen again, he said.
“The advantage we have now is there are Holocaust survivors that are still alive, and going from school to school where students can see and touch this person,” said Tingling, adding students can hear the tales survivors tell of losing mothers, fathers sisters, brothers and children during the Nazi rein of terror.
The project will also include making two million DVDs where survivors tell their stories and that will be distributed to all the students throughout the city.
Children must know these stories so that future laws ensure such inhumanity never occurs again, said Tingling.
As for the upcoming Oct. 18, Madison Square Garden dinner event, it is billed as a Commemorative Evening to Honor, Reflect & Remember featuring Holocaust survivors, senior descendants of slaves and educators.
Amongst the honorees are Rev. Charles Leonard, a 107-year-old descendant of slaves, and Miriam P. Groner, a 103-year-old Holocaust survivor.
Several of the honorees also Brooklyn connections including Holocaust survivors Dr. Jay Sommers and Sally Frishberg, along with City Council member Letitia James.
Tickets for the event range, which starts at 6 p.m., range from $250 for individuals to $1,200 for a table of six.
All ticket holders will also get seats to see a charity basketball game between the New York Knicks and Israel’s top professional team, Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv, which begins at 1 p.m.
To purchase tickets or get more information on the organization ,log onto www.wordsofbonds.com or call 753-9920.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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