Cy Ridge hosts Holocaust survivor through ‘Educating to Remember’

March 15, 2017

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Rose Sherman Williams, a Holocaust survivor from Poland, speaks to Cypress Ridge High School students about her story during an “Educating to Remember” presentation through the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace on March 9.

March 15, 2017—Representatives from the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace (GEAP) visited Cypress Ridge High School on March 9 to deliver a powerful presentation about the Holocaust entitled “Educating to Remember.”

Former Cypress Ridge and current Lone Star College student Nora Evelyn Bruno helped bring the program to the school. The GEAP volunteer worked with Assistant Principal Joseph Hartley and English teacher Laurie Spence to set up the presentation, which shares the history of the Holocaust and other genocides based on the teaching of human rights and ethical values.

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Nora Evelyn Bruno, 2015 Cypress Ridge graduate, addresses current students during the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace presentation on March 9. Bruno helped bring the “Educating to Remember” program to her former school.

Honored guest and Holocaust survivor Rose Sherman Williams delivered the keynote address, sharing her harrowing story about her Jewish family being forced from their home to live in a ghetto after Germany invaded Poland in 1939. Williams was eventually separated from her family and endured concentration camps at Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen before being liberated by British troops in 1945.

“We lost 6 million people, 1 ½ million children, and I pray it never happens again,” Williams said, closing with some advice for the students. “Don’t be bystanders, believe in yourself and never give up. Without education you are practically nothing. Education will bring you a lot of success. From the bottom of my heart I wish you success.”

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Cypress Ridge and Global Embassy of Activists for Peace representatives stand beside an exhibition of a plaque in the form of the Star of David following the “Educating to Remember” presentation at the school on March 9. The plaque contains the handprints of survivor Rose Sherman Williams, her son, Jay Serchay and her grandchildren Alexys and Samuel Serchay, as proof that Nazism couldn’t terminate the Jewish people.

Cypress Ridge Principal Stephanie Meshell thanked Williams for sharing her story.

“We pray that your message will continue to live in us so that we can make a difference in the world,” Meshell said. ‘There is no room for racism. There is no room for hate. There is only room for love and kindness. Thank you for your message today.”

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Dr. William Soto Santiago, global ambassador of the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace, honors Holocaust survivor Rose Sherman Williams after her speech at Cypress Ridge High School on March 9.

Other speakers included Dr. William Soto Santiago, global ambassador of the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace; Daniel Agranov, deputy consul general of Israel to the southwest United States; Emily Sample, associate director of education at the Holocaust Museum Houston; and Bruno, a 2015 Cypress Ridge graduate.

“By stopping another genocide we must educate ourselves and the youth of tomorrow,” Bruno said. “I thank Global Embassy of Activists for Peace, an extraordinary organization that gave me the opportunity to speak up for human rights. Today I am glad to say I can see the change taking action in the world.”

In addition to the presentation, GEAP set up displays outside the auditorium that allowed students to learn more about the Holocaust.

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Cypress Ridge students observe Holocaust displays outside of the school auditorium following the “Educating to Remember” presentation by Global Embassy of Activists for Peace on March 9. 

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