Byron’s Personal Project
Byron Z. is a 10th grade student at Palo Alto High School and a student in the JFCS Holocaust Center’s Next Chapter program. As part of the program, students are matched with local Holocaust survivors, who they meet with and interview several times over the course of a semester.
Through the Next Chapter program, students learn how to:
- Interview Holocaust survivors and document their stories
- Study the history of the Holocaust and patterns of genocide through text, archival items, and film
- Create a personal reflection project
As his personal reflection project as part of the Next Chapter, Byron wrote an article for Palo Alto High School’s newspaper entitled, “Armenian Genocide: a gap in Paly’s curriculum.” He writes, “The scale of the injustice of not teaching [the Armenian Genocide] is tremendous, essentially denying 1.5 million deaths and confiscation of all the personal and community properties of the Armenians. It is essential to add to the Paly curriculum in order to educate the students of the atrocities that occurred.”
Byron’s article was shaped by a number of experiences that he had during his time in the Next Chapter. In his meetings with Holocaust survivor Lenci Farkas, he learned a survivor’s story and about the pain caused by genocide denial; in his monthly Next Chapter class meetings, he learned to look critically at his school’s history curriculum; and as a volunteer at the JFCS Holocaust Center’s Day of Learning, Byron was able to explore history of the Armenian Genocide with Roxanne Makasdjian of the Genocide Education Project.
We are very proud of the incredible work that Byron has created during his time in the Next Chapter. Great job, Byron!