JANICE KATZ teaches Holocaust studies and introduces Holocaust literature to her English classes at Susan E. Wagner High School on Staten Island. Ms. Katz has participated in the Vladka Meed Summer Seminar program held in Poland and Israel, and has either attended, or helped to facilitate Holocaust seminars for numerous organizations, including the Museum of Jewish Heritage, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the American Friends of Yad Vashem. Ms. Katz teaches students to connect with the Holocaust so they understand the implications of its lessons in relation to their own history and humanity with the goal of creating compassionate and caring communities. Field trips to museums and meetings with survivors have enabled successive generations of those she teaches to understand the need to combat hatred with tolerance and understanding. She has inspired students from different ethnic and social backgrounds to become sensitive, caring individuals. In an evaluation of Ms. Katz’s class, one of her students stated that she had learned that evil is the lack of compassion. A fellow teacher has stated that Ms. Katz is dedicated to teaching moral responsibility, religious tolerance, and civic consciousness, and integrates these values every day into her lessons.
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