May 20, 2022

Oakwood Remembers

It can be overwhelming and daunting to listen, learn, and remember genocides and atrocities of the past and present, and yet this remembrance also brings hope. Because by remembering we give life to the stories of the survivors, we honor the dead by not allowing their lives to be forgotten.

Naomi '22

Oakwood’s student-led Remembrance Club opened our 2022 IDEAS Summit with profound words acknowledging Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom HaShoah, and placing these commemorations in the context of Jewish liberation. Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day was also acknowledged as the secondary campus gathered for reflection.

IDEAS is an acronym for identity, diversity, equity, and action in solidarity. During this 3 day course of study, students participated in a wide range of workshops featuring guest speakers, community reflections, affinity gatherings, a performance by Get Lit, art-making, and most of all, a celebration of all who make up Oakwood School.

While IDEAS was underway at the secondary campus, our 6th graders marked Yom HaShoah by learning about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and reflecting on the relationship between liberation and resistance. Students also lit virtual candles in remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust. 

Later in the month, 6th-grade students then had the opportunity to meet and learn directly from Holocaust survivors Eva Perlman and Erika Jakoby. Oakwood alum and parent, Jan Burns ’70, helped facilitate this important and inspiring conversation. 

At the high school, Remembrance Club and the Jewish Affinity group also hosted guest lecturer and Holocaust survivor, David Lenga, to share his remarkable and heartfelt story from prisoner to liberation.