What Does “Tolerance” Mean to You?

On Tuesday, February 9, the 9-1 Fundamentals of Reading class took a rather unique field trip to complement their current reading of The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness, a book on the Holocaust by Simon Wiesenthal. Since the beginning of the third quarter, the class has been analyzing Wiesenthal’s memoir, a reminiscence of his experience with a terminally wounded Nazi. 

After leaving school during first period, this small group of eight freshmen students made their way to East 42nd Street for their field trip to the Museum of Tolerance New York (MOTNY). Because their reading recounts Wiesenthal’s experience in the Lemberg concentration camp and discusses the moral ethics of the matter, the MOTNY is the perfect place to give these students a greater understanding of the content they have studied.

museumoftolerance1The MOTNY challenged these young students to confront bigotry and racism, and to understand the Holocaust in both a historic and contemporary context. Through participating in workshops, touring the exhibits, and watching videos, these students explored issues of prejudice, diversity, tolerance, and cooperation in a way they would not have been able to in the classroom.