GOA to premiere ‘Names, Not Numbers’ documentary

WEST ORANGE, NJ — On Sunday, June 3, Golda Och Academy will premiere its “Names, Not Numbers” Holocaust documentary film at Temple Beth Shalom in Livingston. “Names, Not Numbers” is an interactive, multimedia Holocaust project created by educator Tova Fish-Rosenberg that enables students to work with professional journalists, filmmakers and Holocaust scholars to prepare them for an oral history film documentary. Twenty high school students in grades 10 through 12 were selected for this program and documented the inspiring stories of Holocaust survivors Gerda Bikales of Livingston, Fred Heyman of Morristown, Marsha Kreuzman of Livingston, Ann Monka of Montville and Aron Nadel of Monroe Township. A professional filmmaker also captured the students’ journey throughout the project and combined the survivor stories with student testimonials in a documentary film, “Names, Not Numbers: A Movie in the Making.”

“We are extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in this project,” GOA Head of School Adam Shapiro said in a press release. “The fact that our students have been engaged in a program that affects the Jewish community far beyond the walls of our school is tremendously powerful.”

This is the first year Golda Och Academy has participated in the Names, Not Numbers program, which is run under the direction of Erin Sternthal, Golda Och Academy’s marketing and communications associate, and Upper School social studies teacher Michael Stern. During the past 14 years, more than 200 projects have been completed through Names, Not Numbers, documenting stories of more than 1,800 survivors and WWII veterans by more than 6,000 students in the United States, Canada and Israel. The films have been accepted into the archives of the Jewish National and University Library of Israel in Jerusalem and are being archived at Yad Vashem and the Gottesman Library at Yeshiva University. The Names, Not Numbers program is generously supported by a prominent national foundation.

The film screening on June 3 is open to the entire community. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; the program starts promptly at 7 p.m. There is no cost to attend. RSVP at www.goldaochacademy.org/nnn-rsvp.