22 seniors to participate in March of the Living

Jonathan Seymour

Twenty-two Jewish students will visit death camps and participate in the 28th annual international March of the Living in Poland and travel to Israel at the end of Spring Break. They will also visit cities and landmarks of religious and historical significance in both countries.

The students will join thousands of Jewish students from all over the world in a silent march April 16, which is Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, from the concentration camp at Auschwitz to the one at Birkenau to commemorate all of the victims of the Holocaust. The March of the Living was first held in 1988, and more than 200,000 Jewish youth have participated since.

“I think it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Alan Yousefzadeh ’15, who plans to take part in this year’s march. “For me, it’s more than just a trip. It’s an experience to learn more about my heritage and about the Holocaust as an event. It’s really something else to go and see landmarks and evidence of it firsthand.”

The participants from Los Angeles are organized by Builders of Jewish Education Center for Teen Experiential Education Director Monise Neumann. In the past, groups of two or three Harvard-Westlake students have taken part in the March each year, but this year, for the first time, Neumann brought a Holocaust survivor to class meetings in February to talk about the trip and her experiences in the March of the Living.

Students will depart for Poland April 13, the day that Spring Break ends, and miss two weeks of school sightseeing in various cities in Poland and visiting other death camps, before taking part in the march three days later.