The best way to prevent hate and bias is education.
Schools are an ideal environment to counter bias, because they mix children of different backgrounds, place them on equal footing, and allow one-on-one interaction.
Children also are naturally curious about people who are different.
Children are aware of racial and gender differences at a very young age, and by age twelve they have formed stereotypes.
In fact, recent studies show that tolerance education is most effective between the ages of four and nine years. Therefore, it is important to teach tolerance to young children and continue reinforcing the message over time.
Age-appropriateness is involved in the creation of the different curricula that educators have developed. For instance, part of the curriculum includes classroom exercises from newsletters and newspaper sections directed toward younger audiences.
Additional methods include short theatrical productions and role-playing exercises.
What students learn in the classroom needs to be reinforced in other aspects of their lives, which requires parents' involvement. Schools should also recruit community leaders from different groups, races, and ethnicities to teach that tolerance reaches into relationships at home, play, and school.
Teens have a crucial role to play in preventing crime and violence. They have unique talents, valuable ideas, and creative solutions you can use to fight crime in your community.
In order to raise cultural awareness, diversity and tolerance education in school setting, visit tolerance.org to find free resources and more.
Meet Mr. Sol Lurie
"I want to thank Rabbi Yossi Kanelski for inviting this amazing local Holocaust survivor from Monroe Mr. Sol Lurie (he lost his family and siblings at 11, survived six concentration camps and his story is just one miracle after another) and giving my children an opportunity to hear his incredible story of survival ...I don't know what to say after hearing the story( esp. when German murdered his cousin -a 7 m old baby by throwing him in the air and piercing him with the sharp end of the weapon and spinning him so that his blood splatters everywhere in front of his mom and family ). I have no words..... just tears and heartache. And just lying in bed listening to my baby breathe. I do know one thing, I am very, very grateful to the very few who survived this evil, hell on earth and wanted to live and share their experiences with the world. We can't ever forget that the Holocaust happened, and we must teach our children about it. " R.C.
Holocaust survivor Sol Lurie, who was rescued from Auschwitz when he was 15 years old, shared his story Monday at the Levin Jewish Community Center. Holocaust survivor Sol Lurie revisited his traumatic experiences in Auschwitz Monday night. During the talk at the Levin Jewish Community Center—attended by about 80 people, including Duke students—Lurie recounted his ordeal at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II. His talk focused on coming to terms with the country that kept him prisoner and how he has coped with those memories. Lurie, his parents and his three older brothers lived comfortably in their town in Lithuania—which was about a quarter Jewish—when it was invaded first by the Soviets in June 1940 and then Germans exactly one year later.“ I’ll never forget June 22, 1941. It was a Sunday. My father and my brothers decided we knew what the Germans were doing to the Jews,” Lurie said. “In those days, we only had horse and wagon.” Lurie’s family tried to escape but only made it as far as the next town before having to turn back. Lurie said they were helped by a German soldier, who advised them to avoid certain roads on the way back so they would not be killed. “I told you that story because I want to show you that not all the Germans were bad. There were good ones too. Not enough of them. But there were,” Lurie said. “People cannot believe I don’t hate all the Germans. And I tell them, if I hate all the Germans, I’m just like them—they hated all the Jews.” Lurie and most of the other Jewish people from his town were soon moved to cramped and dirty ghettos where his parents and older brothers performed forced labor. Because kids were not allowed on the streets, Lurie said that he would hide between houses. After being removed from the ghettos, Lurie was sent to five different concentration camps before arriving at Auschwitz, which was the largest concentration camp during the Holocaust. “You could smell flesh burning,” Lurie said. “Even now if I smell barbecue, my mind goes back to Auschwitz. We didn’t know exactly what it was, but you could smell the flesh.” Before being liberated, Lurie was one of nearly 60,000 prisoners who were forced to march from Auschwitz. “It was the end of December, January. The only thing we had were striped pajamas and wooden shoes. It’s a miracle that our feet weren’t frozen,” Lurie said. “We kept on marching, with people dying like flies. We didn’t have bread or water. The only water we had was snow on the ground. We would pick it up and put it in our mouths. ”Lurie explained that he survived the brutal conditions by setting his sights on one goal—”outliving Hitler.” He was eventually liberated on his 15th birthday, and one of his brothers and his father also survived the Holocaust. After a few years at a French orphanage, Lurie came to the United States, where he learned English “from the movies.” “I came to the greatest country in the world. Even in the Korean War, I volunteered for the army,” Lurie said. “They sent me back to Germany. Two of us went to Germany. They needed interpreters.” When asked about how he felt going back to Germany so soon after after being liberated from German capture, he said he was not afraid. Lurie noted that he “can’t hate the children for what the parents did. ”During the talk, one member of the audience asked if God played a role in Lurie’s survival.“ God? He didn’t play a role at all. If he played a role, it wouldn’t have happened. How could a father allow his children to be killed like this? That’s why I don’t believe anymore,” Lurie said. “I believe, be a good human being, help one another.”And his message to school children, college students and adults was the same.“ People must love one another, respect one another.” he said. “And if we do that, we are going to have a beautiful world to live in.”