Project Preservation

And those among you shall build the destroyed Worlds
And You Shall Establish the Foundations of Generations Past
And You Shall be Called the Repairer of the Breach
The One Who Restores Paths in Which to Dwell   

— Isaiah 58:12

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Axel Hufford ’16 clears debris in Ioannina, Greece.

 

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Rabbi Boraz and Jonah Kelly ’18 transcribe a headstone.

For 16 years, students from both Jewish and non-Jewish backgrounds, gather in the spring term to engage in tikkun olam (to repair a broken part of the world). We commence a 10 week study of genocide, with a particular emphasis on the Shoah. Our course of study is directed towards the commencement of evil in Germany during the first part of the 20th century and the genocide of the Jews. We place particular emphasis on a particular Shtetl or Jewish community that experienced this hurban (destruction).

 We then journey to Auschwitz, where we reflect on the destruction of the Jewish people and all who perished there and at the same time ponder with sadness and grief the darkness and void of humanity in this space and time.

The next day our journey continues to the Shtetl that we studied. There, we restore an abandoned and neglected Jewish Cemetery by righting headstones, performing general clean up, and erecting a wrought iron fence, each panel bearing the Magen David, so that it shall never be forgotten that this is sacred ground.

Finally, we attempt to recover as much of the history of the Jewish people in this area as is possible. We document the work by creating a webpage of each site that we have visited and a filmed documentary to preserve its history and our institutional memory.

Information sessions are held in both fall and winter. Application and interviews are done during the winter term. We depart the day after commencement and return at the start of summer term.

Watch Jordan Kastrinsky’s 2016 Project Preservation video here .

Watch Rena Sapon White ’14 “Praying With Their Legs” .

For more info, visit the Projection Preservation website!