A new era for Holocaust education in Rhode Island


At its annual meeting on June 22, the Sandra Bornstein Holocaust Education Center (SBHEC) marked the beginning of a new era: the SBHEC celebrated moving into its new space in the Alliance’s Dwares Jewish Community Center, in Providence, and welcomed incoming president Edward H. Newman.

Prior to the start of the annual meeting, SBHEC officials hung a mezuzah, and held a reception to celebrate the center’s grand reopening in the large, beautiful new space.  All agreed that the new quarters will give the center a higher profile in the community and help it to achieve its mission of using the lessons of the Holocaust to educate about genocide, hate and discrimination, while promoting justice and dignity for all.   

After the reception, everyone moved into the JCC’s social hall for the annual meeting, which marked the end of Judith Jamieson’s four-year tenure as president.

During Jamieson’s term, the SBHEC experienced tremendous growth, as well as achieving its long-term goal of passage of the Holocaust and Genocide Education Act. The new law requires that all Rhode Island middle and high school students receive instruction about the Holocaust and genocide so that it will never happen again. 

While no longer president, Jamieson will continue promoting SBHEC’s message of tolerance and understanding by serving on various SBHEC committees.

Newman, the son of Holocaust survivors, was installed as SBHEC’s new president. In his remarks, Newman, a Family Court magistrate, cited Elie Weisel, saying, “We should never be neutral or silent in the face of bigotry.” He went on to say, “This is what SBHEC is all about. We must educate because that is the key, promoting tolerance between people of different backgrounds, races and religions.”

Newman’s speech can be heard in its entirety on the Sandra Bornstein Holocaust Education Center’s Facebook page.

Another highlight of the evening was the presentation of a Silverstein Grant Award to Jamie Droste, of the Foxboro Regional Charter School, to support the Holocaust Stamps Project.  The goal of the project is to collect 11 million postage stamps as a way to symbolically honor every victim of the Holocaust.

LEV POPLOW is a communications and development consultant who writes for the Bornstein Holocaust Center. He can be reached at levpoplow@gmail.com.

SBHEC, Jamieson, Newman