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Park Slope resident and grand daughter of Holocaust survivors Edie Hecht leads a museum tour as part of her six-month apprenticeship at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
Park Slope resident and grand daughter of Holocaust survivors Edie Hecht leads a museum tour as part of her six-month apprenticeship at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
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The Museum of Jewish Heritage, located in Manhattan's Battery Park, serves as more than just a living memorial to the Holocaust.
The Museum of Jewish Heritage, located in Manhattan's Battery Park, serves as more than just a living memorial to the Holocaust.
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Through apprenticeship, students learn the meaning of heritage
Aug 01, 2014 | 187 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Museum of Jewish Heritage, located in Manhattan's Battery Park, serves as more than just a living memorial to the Holocaust.
The Museum of Jewish Heritage, located in Manhattan's Battery Park, serves as more than just a living memorial to the Holocaust.
slideshow
Park Slope resident and grand daughter of Holocaust survivors Edie Hecht leads a museum tour as part of her six-month apprenticeship at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
Park Slope resident and grand daughter of Holocaust survivors Edie Hecht leads a museum tour as part of her six-month apprenticeship at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
slideshow
While many high schoolers in the city are enjoying their summer vacations unfettered, several studious youngsters are honing their résumés and gaining a broader understanding of culture in the Museum of Jewish Heritage’s apprenticeship program. The six-month apprenticeship has been running continuously for 15 years, and Bonnie Unger, a museum educator, explained that one of the key goals of the program is to educate a diverse group of students about Jewish Heritage so that they can in turn apply their knowledge to discover their own heritage. “We take students from all backgrounds,” Unger said. “A lot of the students are applying to this program because they’re interested in history or museums, and some of them really want just to learn and get that behind-the-scenes experience.” Vennel Simmons, a recent high school graduate who is participating in the apprenticeship, said he heard about the program through a friend. And while the current crop of apprentices still has several weeks left of learning and experience gathering, Simmons said his biggest takeaway from the museum so far is that the Holocaust is no longer the only thing he knows about Jewish history. “I think about the Torah, which is a really important scroll in the Jewish heritage. I think about the holidays, children, I don’t think about the Holocaust,” Simmons said. “Before, if someone were to mention the Jewish people, the first thing that would come to my head would be the Holocaust. And that’s not something you want a group of people to be known by, so this really has changed my view.” “I actually want to be a lawyer, and I’ve done an internship at the Queens DA’s office. I learned that if you want to be a lawyer you’re going to have to talk to people,” Tenzin Choeyang, a junior at Flushing International High School said. “I learned that in the first week working in the shop. I learned to talk to different people different ways. And I’ll be in visitor services next week, so I’ll be learning more about speaking with different kinds of people.” Edie Hecht, the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors and a soon-to-be junior at Bard High School Early College who lives in Park Slope, said that while she is familiar with Jewish heritage, she is learning about the heritage of her co-apprentices through the program. “Interacting with the other apprentices, I’ve learned a lot about other cultures,” Hecht said. “Jewish heritage is something I’m familiar with, but there are kids from all other cultures in the program. I think the whole idea behind the apprenticeship is that we are all trying to learn about other cultures.” *Correction: An earlier version of this article identified the Torah as the Tor.
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City has already seen six drownings this summer
by Jess Berry
Aug 01, 2014 | 117 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Borough President Eric Adams discusses his proposal with reporters.
Borough President Eric Adams discusses his proposal with reporters.
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It has been a grim summer on the beaches in the city, with six drownings over a 30-day period casting a shadow over the normally sunny summer skies. The latest incident happened a little over a week ago on Tuesday, July 22, when a ten-year-old girl was playing on a jetty at Coney Island Beach after-hours and slipped into the powerful ocean waters. The youngest of the six victims was only two years old. Shawn Slevin, chair of the Swim Strong Foundation, said that 98 percent of drownings are preventable. “As far as I can see, each one of these deaths has been unnecessary,” Slevin said. “That’s what’s so upsetting and frustrating about this.” The Swim Strong Foundation uses swim programs, such as affordable swim lessons and swim safety education for families, to save lives and teach children values through competitive swimming. Slevin said that in order to prevent future fatalities, swim and water safety education needs to be a priority. “The bottom line is education and parents and families embracing it and sharing it with one another,” she said. In that vein, Borough President Eric Adams and Councilman Mark Treyger held a press conference on the boardwalk of Coney Island Beach to discuss changes they would like to see to increase water safety in the city. While Adams discussed legislation that would require water safety education and swim lessons for second graders across the City, Treyger called for more Park Enforcement Patrol (PEP) officers on the beaches, which would allow for stricter enforcement of swimmers leaving the water after lifeguards finish their duty at 6 p.m. “No one is teaching the ABC’s of swimming,” Adams said. “And because that is not being taught, because there is no clear format of teaching water safety, our children and families are recklessly going to the water’s edge believing that this beautiful ocean is a toy.” Treyger agreed, saying that education was the first in a two-fold issue when it comes to water safety in the city. But, according to Treyger, responsibility does not fall entirely on the shoulders of families, and there is a need for the increase of PEP officers, which he believes would fulfill the city’s duty to protects its citizens. “We have to make sure that city government is doing all that it can do as well to prevent tragedies like this from ever happening, not just here in Coney Island, but anywhere else in the City of New York,” Treyger said. Adams’ proposed legislation is still in the works in conjunction with State Senator Diane Savino, who is looking into the logistics of creating a water education program for second graders and drafting a bill. Adams said that he believes the cost of such a program would be $150 per student. “But we can’t put a price on public safety, we can’t put a price on having parents not receive a phone call that their child has drowned,” he said.
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