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Holocaust Survivors Take Lessons Learned into Our Public Schools

Emily J. Minor
Communications Department
January 25, 2018

'Get away from that window'

 

As a little boy, George Bodrogi can remember sitting in the front picture window, watching the war.

“Get away from that window,” his parents told him. “It’s dangerous.”

According to Mr. Bodrogi, it was good advice. 

The window exploded, Mr. Bodrogi survived. But the remainder of the Holocaust was not so kind to his family. And now, George Bodrogi - his knees failing but his mind still sharp - goes into Palm Beach County schools and talks to high school students about the Holocaust, and his experiences. 

Mind your parents, he tells them - that exploding window in mind.

In recent months, three survivors who are a part of the Alpert Jewish Family & Children’s     Service’s Holocaust Program have stood before students at Santaluces, John I. Leonard, and William T. Dwyer high schools to talk about their war experiences.

“We bring a different spin, because we bring a survivor and a case manager,” says Leigh Routman, our agency’s director of community involvement. “The impact this had on the students surprised me.

“It was amazing.”

For these recent presentations, Leigh worked with Maureen Carter, the Holocaust Studies planner for the Palm Beach County School District. Teachers have been receptive, she said. And bringing the client and the case manager to the stage is great because the case manager knows the client - and can help draw out the personal stories.

At one of the talks, Leigh said the students “were all lined up afterward because they wanted to give him a hug.

“It was beautiful,” she said.