Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Thursday evening plans?

If you don't have any, I highly recommend attending the Hypogeum Society event featuring David Smith of Whitwell, Tenn. Smith was a small-town teacher (now he's assistant principal), who wanted to teach his students about respecting differences and the results of intolerance. So he started an after-school study of the holocaust.

The eighth graders involved wanted a concrete way to comprehend the 6 million Jews killed by the Nazis, so they started collecting paper clips. nearly 10 years later, they 30 million paper clips and an authentic German rail car to display what they have learned. A 2004 documentary "Paper Clips" tells the story.

Smith visited Congregation Agudath Achim last year and I was privileged enough to hear him speak. He's just a good, Christian southerner, who is very honest about overcoming his own stereotypes. It's a powerful testament to the power of middle schoolers.

If you're interested, the program will be held at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at B'nai Zion, 245 Southfield Road, with a reception following. The cost is $5 for adults and free for students.

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