Forty five Explore 2000 students were the recipients of the generosity of the Morris Rubell Holocaust Journey Foundation. On Monday, October 24, 2016, Explore 2000 participated in a life-changing experience, the Morris Rubell Holocaust Remembrance Journey. Students, staff and parent chaperones were treated to a trip to the Holocaust memorial Museum in Washington DC.
The Rubell Foundation provided a charter bus, a driver, breakfast, lunch and dinner and, most importantly, the opportunity for students to meet and interact with a real-life Holocaust survivor, Fred Heyman, who shared his incredible story of surviving the Nazi regime. Michael Rubell introduced us to his father, Morris Rubell, a Holocaust survivor, through a video recorded in 1991. Hearing the stories of these survivors, who witnessed the absolute worst in humanity and hearing their faith in people and hope for the future can serve as a lesson in positivity and exemplary character.
The activities for the day included a video and Q&A session on the bus followed by a tour of the Holocaust Museum which began with the Daniel’s Story exhibit. Michael Rubell led the tour and was impressed by the insightful questions many of our students asked. When asked if what they saw was interesting, some replies include, “more like horrifying” and “yes, but so sad” or, “how could this happen?”
Following the tour of the museum, we visited the Lincoln Memorial as well as the Martin Luther King Memorial. The highlight of the tour was getting to meet Fred Heyman and hear his story which inspired all of us to be UPStanders instead of bystanders! A special thank you to the Rubell Holocaust Foundation.
Dear Mr. Heyman,
Thank you for sharing your experience with us on the trip. It was an enlightening story, and made me think more about not only the people who were killed but the hardships that ordinary people had to go through just because of their religion or race. The things that you told us are things that nobody else on the trip could relate to, and I respect you and the other people who live through and were persecuted during this terrible time even more now that I know more about what happened,
Thank you again for providing myself and the other students who went on the trip with this opportunity. I enjoyed it immensely, and I am sure that my fellow students feel the same. The trip provided me with some information that I did not know, and I have even more questions now than I had before the trip. My favorite part of the trip was not any part of the museum, but when you told us the hardships that you had to endure. Some of the stories were funny, but most of them really showed me what a horrible and inhuman thing the Holocaust was. There has been no time in my life that I have been so deeply moved by something in such a short time. The trip was definitely the most poignant one I have ever taken. Even now, I am still thinking of it, and I know that I will continue to for a very long time.
Dear Mr. Rubell,
Thank you for your generosity in providing us with the bus and funds for this trip. It is definitely something I will remember, as it is not often that an organization is so generous. I learned a lot of things on this trip, and it made me on about the Holocaust in relation to some of the racism that surrounds us today. Some people, like Hitler, can make other people forget reason and make them believe that a certain group of people are responsible for all their problems. 11 million people died in the Holocaust, and their deaths should not be forgotten. That is what makes what you are doing so admirable. The Holocaust Remembrance Journeys not only teach people the facts of the Holocaust, but also teaches tolerance toward all religions, races, and ethnicities. This is to ensure nothing like it ever happens again, and if it must, then it teaches us to stand up for the rights of everyone, not just when it affects us.
It was an enlightening experience, and as you gave us this incredible opportunity, it is only right that we thank you properly for it. I am sure that everyone who had the opportunity to go on the trip is as grateful to you as I am, and has been moved by this experience. I have been deeply touched by the trip, and without your kindness, it would not have been possible. Your generosity will be remembered by everyone who went on the trip, and I would like to thank you one last last time, though doesn’t seem to be enough.