Freshmen attend Holocaust Documentation Center field trip

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Every year, the freshman class gets the opportunity to learn about the past through a trip to a Holocaust memorial center. This year, the class of 2027 had their turn as 115 freshmen took a trip to the Holocaust Documentation Center in Dania Beach. 

The three buses left campus around 8:15 a.m. Feb. 28 and when they arrived, they were introduced to people who were either Holocaust survivors or a son or daughter of one. Students participating did round tables with them as the survivors shared their stories and answered any questions students had.

Around 10 a.m, juniors Drew Bank and Kaitlyn Dunne, the Directors of the Butterfly Project, presented the center with a check for $1,600 which was raised from the Butterfly Project’s yearly bagel brunch. The center’s director noted that this was the first time they had received such a generous donation from a school.

“I was glad to make a difference to a cause so important to me. I’m happy to give back to the center that does so much for us by preserving history,” Bank said. 

As the day carried on, students spent more time with the survivors before getting to walk around the center. There were various exhibits – such as the Violin Exhibit – and interactive tools to learn more about the Holocaust. 

On the way out, the center gave each student a pamphlet with promises such as “I promise to stop hate in my community,” “I will stop bullying” and “I will do good in my community” to encourage them to promote peace in the future. They also held a group discussion to let the freshmen elaborate on what the day meant to them.

“I think the day was really important in learning some people’s individual stories,” freshman Prisha Patel said. “The trip helped me understand how the war and antisemitism affected the survivors and it made me realize how important it is to accept everyone.”

Zoe Horwitz, a junior at American Heritage, returns to the Patriot Post for her third year as the Sports Editor and Assistant Editor-In-Chief. Besides reading and writing, she spends her time playing with her dog or tutoring younger students through Learn with Peers, a non-profit organization she helped found in 2020. During her freshman year, she co-founded FALIA (Food Allergy/Intolerance Awareness) at school, a club that advocates for those with food allergies. Zoe also plays lacrosse, as she plays for a club team and American Heritage girls varsity lacrosse team. Zoe is very excited to be contributing to the Patriot Post.