Ms. Smith’s 7th grade English class visited the Museum of Jewish Heritage on February 10 as an enhancement to reading The Cage, a novel in which author Ruth Minsky Sender describes her childhood experience in Poland during World War II. Forced out of her home and into the Lodz ghetto, brave young Riva, the main character, eventually was relocated to Auschwitz, where she spent her teen years. Riva survived the war and wrote this memoir to share her story with the world.
At the Museum of Jewish Heritage, students learned about various aspects of the Holocaust. They examined Nazi artifacts, including board games, Hitler Youth children’s books, concentration camp uniforms, and identification cards. They viewed video testimonies by Holocaust survivors, who spoke about life in labor and concentration camps, as Riva has done in the book. Students were moved by the harsh images and memorabilia in the museum.
After the museum visit, students strolled along the Hudson River to see the Statue of Liberty. “We discussed our freedoms and personal dreams,” said Ms. Smith.
“The field trip was memorable because we learned a lot about how people in the concentration camps suffered,” said Lisa, a class member. “Humans should not be treated that way.” Classmate Dana said, “The trip added to what I already knew about what members of my family went through, what happened, and how they survived.”