"Names, Not Numbers" is a Holocaust education program developed by Tova Fish-Rosenberg and led at Yeshiva Har Torah by Mrs. Rachel Mittelman. Every year, rather than simply learning about the Holocaust in a traditional classroom setting, the "Names, Not Numbers" curriculum allows 8th graders to engage in a unique multidisciplinary learning experience that combines research, video production, interviews, documentary film tools, and film editing. Throughout the project, students work with writers, educators, and filmmakers. Initially developed as a high school curriculum, Yeshiva Har Torah is proud to have been one of the first junior high schools to participate in "Names, Not Numbers."
The program begins with the participating 8th graders meeting with Tova Fish-Rosenberg and Rabbi Menchel, and watching the Academy Award winning film "One Survivor Remembers," the oral history of Gerda Weissman. Students also meet with journalist Adam Dickter to learn interviewing techniques. The students then go to the Museum of Jewish Heritage and hear from Dr. Paul Radensky at the museum. To further prepare for interviews, the students have sessions on the history of the Holocaust with Mrs. Mittelman and learn professional video and editing techniques from a videographer. After many weeks of further research and preparation, the students conduct one hour interviews with their subjects about their experiences, which the students then edit down to 15 minutes and combine into a documentary. Rabbi Menchel also leads discussions on emunah and theodicy with the students after their interviews. The final "Names, Not Numbers" film is then further edited and presented at a special evening program at Yeshiva Har Torah, attended by the students, classmates, teachers, families, and the interview subjects. Copies of our films are then accepted and archived at the Jewish National and University Library of Israel (the National Library of the State of Israel) at Hebrew University, and at Yad Vashem.