The Spirit of Anne Frank Awards

The Margrit Polak Shield and Harvey Shield
2004 Outstanding Citizen Award

MARK WILLNER is a social studies teacher at Midwood High School in Brooklyn, and he heads the Social Studies Department. Since 1973, Mr. Willner has been responsible for the creation and supervision of several elective courses dealing with multicultural studies, including African and African-American Studies, Asian studies, and a class entitled History of Resistance to Oppression, which covers historical efforts of Jews and African-Americans to survive during periods of persecution and discrimination. For the last thirty years Mr. Willner has taught the Holocaust to sixth graders at the Temple Emanu-El Religious School in Manhattan. Through his role there as student council advisor, Mr. Willner has organized charitable endeavors to benefit many human rights organizations. The recipient of many awards, Mr. Willner is the author of a forty-nine page chapter on the Holocaust in the Global Studies: Volume 2 textbook. It is the only global studies textbook in the United States that has a separate chapter on the Holocaust. While spending much of his time in the instruction of children, Mr. Willner has also initiated and supervised a three-credit course for teachers: The Holocaust: Meeting Hate with Humanity. As Mr. Willner himself says, “I see myself as a link between those who died and the current generation.”



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