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Students Seek Ways to Overcome Intolerance During ADL Mission to U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

New York, NY, October 13, 2004… A delegation of 114 ethnically and racially diverse high school students from across the country will travel to Washington, D.C., to learn about the Holocaust and to apply these lessons to modern-day issues of bigotry and intolerance in America. 


The seventh annual Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Grosfeld Family National Youth Leadership Mission to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum will be held from Sunday, October 17th through Wednesday, October 20th with participants from 11 cities: Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles, Houston, New Orleans, New York, Orange County, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C.  The Mission uses historic and contemporary examples of moral courage to help motivate students to fight prejudice within their own lives and in their schools and communities.  The delegates become positive agents for change and help teach their peers the strength of diversity.


"Our aim is to give students the opportunity to learn the dangers of unchecked hatred and bigotry," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor.  "They will be able to look at the atrocities committed in Sudan, Rwanda and elsewhere and draw a parallel to what they experience at the Holocaust Museum.  Following their intense and emotionally charged visit through the Museum, the students inevitably ask one question, 'why didn't anyone stop this from happening?'  Once they learn that some people rejected Nazi hatred, it motivates them to stand up and speak out against today's atrocities and to fight against hatred in their own lives."


The centerpiece of the Mission is a visit to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.  The museum not only educates the delegates about the Holocaust, but allows for exploration of current issues of extremism and bigotry.  Speakers invited to share their personal stories include Mr. Foxman, a Holocaust survivor saved by his Polish Catholic nanny, Flora Singer, a Holocaust survivor, educator, and Holocaust Museum volunteer, and Nesse Godin, a survivor of four Nazi labor camps and a death march.  Their testimonies will remind participants that they each possess the power -- through their actions and behavior -- to combat bigotry.  The participants will also meet with a panel of civil rights leaders to discuss the importance of student activism and the importance of inter-group relationships.


The ADL Grosfeld Family National Youth Leadership Mission was initiated in 1996 by ADL's Greater Chicago/Upper Midwest Regional Office.  In 1998, the Mission became a national program, involving 70 students from six cities.  National sponsorship of the Mission is provided by the Grosfeld Family Foundation.


As part of the Mission, students will participate in interactive workshop sessions designed by the League's A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE? Institute.  A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE Institute diversity training programs have reached over 400,000 teachers and impacted approximately 15,000,000 students.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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