Passaic County Technical Institute History Instructor Ernesto Diaz was selected for the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous European Study, a program through the Alfred Lerner Fellowship of Columbia University, that allowed him to visit the eastern European nations of Lithuania and Poland where the largest percentage of Jews were exterminated during the Holocaust.
The weeklong learning experience ensured that Mr. Diaz was fully immersed in the history in which he teaches. “I gained a new knowledge and perspective of the resistance by Jewish civilians and Jewish police during the Holocaust,” he says. Mr. Diaz explored Jewish towns, visited concentration camps, mass graves, and synagogues and met with JFR supported rescuers who shared the personal testimonies of events from such harrowing times.
The tour humanized a dark time in history and shed light on the altruism displayed by the few Poles, Lithuanians, and others that protected Jewish friends, neighbors, and strangers.
On this incredibly educational experience, Mr. Diaz explained, “This journey brought my knowledge of the Holocaust to a new level, far beyond any courses that I took in college. I aim to bring what I’ve learned back into the classroom, and to inspire students to avoid becoming bystanders in difficult situations.”
PCTI Instructor Broadens Educational Horizons with Holocaust European Study
Passaic County Technical Institute History Instructor Ernesto Diaz (Mount Tabor) was selected for the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous European Study through the Alfred Lerner Fellowship of Columbia University.