Volume 31 Issue 22 29 Jul 2022 1 Av 5782

Ma Koreh

Adam Carpenter – Head of Jewish Life Primary

After the last few years of conducting interviews via Zoom or in lockdown, it was wonderful to welcome our nine amazing ‘living historians’ to school this week to begin Project Heritage. Project Heritage is a unique program that connects our Year 6 students with their history and heritage via ‘living historians’, who share their lives, experiences, Jewish identity and values through a series of three interviews. Based on these interviews and inspired by their historian, students embark on a creative process to represent aspects of their historian’s life and values through art, poetry, creative writing and a written biography. This work will be exhibited and showcased through a website and a final presentation to the historians and the Year 6 families. 

Our nine historians are all family relations of students in Year 6, including grandparents and a great grandparent. Below is a brief reflection following our first interview, written by a member of each historian’s group. 

Cedric Amoils: This was my first time meeting and talking to Cedric. My first impression is that he is a very kind and thoughtful person. Whenever he told a part of his story or life, he always shared an insight or moral he learnt from that experience and used that to teach us important life lessons. By Joshua Greengarten

Ellis Cohen: I think that Project Heritage is a great opportunity to get to learn about your family heritage and Jewish history. I learnt a lot about my grandfather, Ellis Cohen. He taught us that with hard work and persistence you can succeed, even if you come from a poor family. He also told us to always ask questions. By Ethan Ickowicz

Nora Goodridge: I know everyone in my group learnt a lot from this experience and I learnt new things from my grandmother about our family history. It was extremely fun and I can’t wait for our next interview. By Mia Goodridge

Ellis Cohen and his grandson, Ethan

Peter Halas: Our historian Peter is married to my grandmother’s sister. Peter shared stories of devastation and destruction from his past. It was an amazing, difficult and unique experience to learn about his life during the Holocaust, World War II, the Russian occupation of Hungary after the war and then in Australia. By Matthew Simon

Bryan Lenny: My group was really excited to meet my grandfather who is also our historian. During the interview there were a few things we never expected to hear, as we learnt about his childhood and his different careers. My grandfather has done lots of community work to help and support Jewish people and organisations. By Jessica Dworkin

Erna Levy: The first interview was an amazing experience to hear more about my family history and heritage from my great grandmother. It was special to do this with my cousin Ricky, my grandma and my classmates. During Jewish Studies we looked at a photo of my great grandmother’s cousin’s Bar Mitzvah celebration 100 years ago, which included her parents, who are my great great great grandparents. By Jonah Bloom

Harry Oppermann: It was interesting listening to Zaide share his story with our group and to learn new parts of my family’s history. It is cool as I get to find out more about my family with the rest of my group. Our group was very impressed that Harry can speak many languages including Yiddish, Hebrew, German and English. By Eve Knopman 

Miryam Wise: It was special to have my grandmother come to school to be our historian, just as she did for my brother Jack. I learnt more about my family heritage and new things I didn’t know about my grandma’s life and experiences. By Noah Kessell

Gabriel Zipser: My grandfather is a historian for Project Heritage and he shared his life story with my group. I learnt new aspects of his life that I had not known before and am looking forward to our group asking him questions to learn more about his life in the next interviews. By Leah Zipser