To the Editor:
Now that the school year has come to a close, at the Holocaust, Genocide & Human Rights Education Center at Brookdale Community College (HGHREC) we take time to review our year, looking to build on our successes and convert our challenges to future achievements. This year, one thing stands out and is abundantly clear: it’s time for us to say THANK YOU to our community.
We all are personally experiencing the difficult economic times in New Jersey. We know our schools are struggling with budget crises. As an organization that annually serves more than 10,000 students, hundreds of teachers and thousands of community members, we were acutely aware that our standard operating procedures were not going to work this past year. In particular, our biggest and most successful program, the Annual Colloquium, which has brought 2500 middle and high school students to the Brookdale Community College campus each year, was faltering. Schools had no funding for bus transportation.
We briefly thought of cancelling the event, but this year’s program featured the reunion of a US Army liberator with Holocaust survivors he helped to free 65 years ago. This reunion could not wait for a future time; it had to happen now. So instead, we turned to our community, conveying the value of the event and the dilemma facing us. Thankfully businesses, foundations and private individuals rallied around us and came forward to help. The HGHREC was thus able to offer bus scholarships to the 25 schools that needed them, bringing 1311 students to the colloquium.
The District Supervisor for Spotswood High School commented:
Thank you everyone who made this day happen for the Spotswood students and for the many others who were elevated by the courage of the survivors and storytellers. Thank you, also, to our students who were willing to listen and who increased their capacity to show compassion for others. This colloquium and our students’ learning represented yet another affirmation of the importance of education and the role of all of us in it…the students from Spotswood were part of a great human community that shone a light on these images of loss and hope so that we could all learn from them.
The HGHREC thanks The Ansell, Zaro, Grimm & Aaron Foundation, The Atrium at Navesink Harbor, Bank of America, the Eugene and Gloria Landy Family Foundation, GB Limited, Jewish Family & Children’s Services, Kaiser Family Foundation, Meridian Health, Monmouth University, New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals, New Jersey Natural Gas, Oceanfirst Bank, Perricone Family Charitable Foundation, PNC Financial Services Group, Qualcare, Inc., Saker Shoprites, Inc., Sambol Family Foundation, Weiser LLP, Zager Fuchs, PC and the many private individuals who responded to our need and gave support.
These are not easy times for anyone, but at the HGHREC we count ourselves among the lucky to be part of a responsive, caring community that recognizes and meets the needs of our children.
Ms. Dale Daniels
Holocaust, Genocide & Human Rights Education Center
Brookdale Community College
765 Newman Springs Road
Lincroft, New Jersey 07738
Fax: 732 224-2045