This fall, HWS students are invited to apply to participate in “The March: Bearing Witness to Hope,” an extraordinary student leadership program and mission to Europe that brings students on a remembrance journey centered on the Holocaust.
Established in 2002 by a collaborative effort between Professor of Religious Studies Michael Dobkowski and faculty from Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y., The March provides members of the program with an opportunity to visit memorial sites in Germany and Poland and to listen to the stories of Holocaust survivors. The upcoming program is scheduled to take place from Monday, May 19 to Wednesday, May 28, 2014.
Informational meetings about The March will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 28 and at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7, both taking place in Demarest 117B. The deadline for applications is Friday, Dec. 20. The program will accept 16 HWS students and seniors are eligible to apply.
Over the past 12 years, the Colleges have participated in the program five times. Each year, The March brings together a team of about 40 participants from HWS, Nazareth College, and local community members. Scholars of the Holocaust and survivors of the Holocaust lead the trip. The survivors are an integral part of the program, traveling with the group and interacting with students. For the upcoming program, Dobkowski and Associate Professor of Religious Studies Richard Salter will be the faculty mentors.
“Students participating in the program will visit museums, monuments and memorials that commemorate the once thriving Jewish cultural centers in Berlin, Warsaw, Krakow and Lublin that were destroyed during World War II,” Dobkowski says. “They will walk through the death camps of Treblinka, Majdanek and Auschwitz-Birkenau where life ended for millions. They will visit historic locations commemorating acts of resistance and rescue.”
Dobkowski says survivors, scholars and mentors will be there all along the way to help the students better understand what they are seeing and learning. Among the students who have participated in The March are: Hannah Bishop ’15, Jocelyn Canty ’14, Taylor Cappello ’14, Lisa Ditchek ’15, Andrew Frolich ’14, Howard Kouan ’14, Margaret McConnell ’14, Emily Surprenant ’15, Eva Touhey ’15, and Margaret Manko ’14.
On returning home, Dobkowski says student participants are encouraged to become involved in campus initiatives that share the goals of The March-a commitment to identify, confront and transform situations of prejudice, bigotry, and intolerance, institutionally, as well as interpersonally and working for the eradication of genocidal forces in the world today.
Accepted students are expected to pay $1,400 to participate. The actual cost of the trip is approximately $3,800 per student; however, active fundraising for The March is currently taking place to bridge the gap. A student’s ability to pay will not be a factor in selecting the participants.
With the deadline to apply fast-approaching, interested students should send their applications to the Department of Religious Studies attn: Michael Dobkowski. The application requires two letters of recommendation, as well as a medical clearance.
If a student does not already have a passport and are seriously considering applying for The March, passports should be sought immediately.
For more information about the trip and application process, please visit: https://www.naz.edu/the-march