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  • Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland

     

  • NEWS

  • 29 October 2018

    “Discovering Irena Sendler”, a conversation with Norman Conard at the 38th annual Neuberger Holocaust Education Week, will feature the story of one of the most unexpected discoveries of an unsung hero.

    In 1999 Norman Conard, a high school teacher from Uniontown in rural Kansas, USA, encouraged his students to do research on a little-known Polish Underground State member who was credited with saving thousands of Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto. Thinking it had to be a mistake, they dug deeper. A dramatic play they eventually produced, titled “Life in a Jar” and inspired by the documents they found, has been performed all around the world while Irena Sendler was nominated for the Nobel Peace prize in 2007.

     

    The program starts on November 6, 2018, 7pm at the Leo Baeck Day School, 501 Arlington Ave., Toronto. Admission is free. It is hosted by Congregation Habonim and presented by the Consulate of Poland in Toronto in collaboration with March of the Living Canada.
    Running in Toronto from November 1-8 2018, this year’s HEW sheds light on untold stories, new research and marginalized histories of the Holocaust.

     

     

     

    Norman Conard is the Executive Director of the Lowell Milken Center in Fort Scott, KS, which works with schools around the world to teach respect and understanding among all people by developing projects about unsung heroes whose actions promote these values, regardless of race, religion and creed. Prior to his work at the Lowell Milken Centre he was a high school social studies teacher.

    Norman Conard's students at Uniontown High School in Uniontown, Kansas, created over 85 projects that teach respect and understanding through historical examples. In 1999, Conard encouraged four students to pursue a National History Day project which, among other goals, would illuminate the classroom motto: "He who changes one person, changes the world entire." While conducting their research, the students discovered the story of Irena Sendler, an unsung heroine of the Holocaust who smuggled 2,500 children out of the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. Deeply inspired by Sendler's life, Conard's students wrote a play, “Life in a Jar”, and spread her story around the world, gaining national recognition through appearances on CNN, National Public Radio and CBS, as well as feature stories in hundreds of newspapers and magazines. Conard has written educational lesson plans to accompany films shown on HBO and PBS, and has served for more than a decade on the Education Advisory Board of Time Magazine. Besides teaching, he is director of the Life in a Jar Foundation and director of the Lowell Milken Center. A National Board Certified teacher, he was a 1992 Kansas Teacher of the Year and 1994 National Social Studies Teacher of the Year. He has also received the National Civil Rights Award, the 2004 Governor's Award and was named an All-American Teacher by USA Today in 2001. In 2007, Conard was inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame.

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