Professor of Religious Studies Michael Dobkowski is organizing a student leadership trip and Holocaust mission to Germany and Poland that is scheduled for May 15-23, 2012. An informational meeting for The March: Bearing Witness to Hope trip will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 5 p.m. in Demarest 117B. Organizers will discuss the March itinerary and further explain the costs, intentions and expectations of the March. Seniors are eligible for the trip.
“We participated in this program in 2003, 2006, 2008 and 2010,” explains Dobkowski. “It was an extraordinary experience for the HWS students who were privileged to go. This year we hope to accept 15 students.” He and his wife, Karen Gabe, will be faculty mentors.
The program is led by Holocaust scholars together with Holocaust survivors, who are an integral part of the program traveling with the group and interacting with students. Participants will visit museums, monuments and memorials that commemorate the once thriving Jewish cultural centers in Berlin, Warsaw, Krakow and Lublin that were destroyed during WWII. They will walk through the death camps of Treblinka, Majdanek and Auschwitz-Birkenau where life ended for millions — and visit historic locations commemorating acts of resistance and rescue. Survivors, scholars and mentors will helped those on the trip process what they see and learn.
Elizabeth O’Connor’12 participated in the 2010 March: Bearing Witness to Hope trip and will be returning this year as a mentor. O’Connor majors in political science with a concentration in social justice, and minors in Holocaust studies and philosophy.
“The trip offers students the opportunity to connect with survivors and hear live testimony of their experiences during and after The Holocaust. It takes only moments in speaking with Holocaust survivors to realize how enlightened, courageous, and seemingly super-human they truly are,” she explains. “The experience of the March itself exposes participants to one of the darkest moment in human history, where souls were stripped bare and broken. The resonating power of the March is offered through an incredible demonstration of the preeminence of love, hope and human connection, and the appreciation of something larger and greater than the self.”
Currently Dobkowski’s assistant, O’Connor has been publicizing the March, what she refers to as a “unique and transformative opportunity” for college students who are interested in exploring the sociological, intrapersonal, political, and philosophical implications of The Holocaust.
On returning home, students 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 work toward the eradication of genocidal forces in the world today. The actual cost of the trip is approximately $3,800 per student. Active fundraising for the March is taking place. Student participants will be expected to pay $1,400. The rest will be subsidized by monies raised.
If you are considering applying for this trip, please visit the website: http://morah.naz.edu/.
The deadline for applications is Friday, Dec. 16, and should be sent to the Department of Religious Studies attn: Michael Dobkowski. The application requires two letters of recommendation as well as a medical clearance form. Also, if you do not already have a passport and are seriously considering applying for the March, you should apply for your passport now.