Saint Patrick Catholic School teacher receives Lerner Fellowship

Staff Report
Posted 7/6/22

ELIZABETH, NEW JERSEY — The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous (JFR) selected 22 middle and high school teachers from 10 states as 2022 Alfred Lerner Fellows.Deborah Brown, middle school …

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Saint Patrick Catholic School teacher receives Lerner Fellowship


ELIZABETH, NEW JERSEY — The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous (JFR) selected 22 middle and high school teachers from 10 states as 2022 Alfred Lerner Fellows.
Deborah Brown, middle school teacher at Saint Patrick Catholic School in Robertsdale, was selected as one of the 2022 Fellows.
Selectees delved into the complex history of the Holocaust and discussed new teaching techniques for introducing the subject of the Holocaust into their classrooms during the JFR's Summer Institute for Teachers. The institute is a five-day course that took place at the Hilton Newark Airport in Elizabeth, New Jersey from June 25 – 29.
Those selected to participate in the program must be English or social studies teachers at the middle or high school level, have taught at least five years, are at least five years from retirement and currently teach the Holocaust in their classroom.
"There are three main goals of the JFR's Summer Institute, which include providing teachers with a graduate level course on the Holocaust; pedagogical connections with other teachers and their curriculum so they learn what's worked and what hasn't; and to give them resources for the classroom," said JFR Executive Vice President Stanlee Stahl.
The high-level program is an intensive academic seminar where participants are exposed to noted Holocaust scholars, including Doris Bergen of University of Toronto; Jeffrey Burds of Northeastern University College; Lawrence R. Douglas of Amherst College; Steven Field of New York University's Grossman School of Medicine; Daniel Greene of Northwestern University; Peter Hayes of Northwestern University; Benjamin Hett of Hunter College; Samuel Kassow of Trinity College; renowned Holocaust historian and exhibition curator Paul Salmons; Robert Jan van Pelt of University of Waterloo; Edward B. Westermann of Texas A&M University; Robert Williams of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and renowned author Alexandra Zapruder.
Participants meet in small groups following each lecture to address the specific aspect of the Holocaust that is presented, share teaching concepts and develop approaches to introducing the subject matter to their students.
According to a release, "The nationally acclaimed Fellowship program is named in memory of Alfred Lerner, the founding chairman and chief executive officer of MBNA Corporation, who died in October of 2002. Lerner was a long-time advisor and supporter of JFR programs and activities. His deep commitment to the work of JFR and in particular to his special interest in the field of Holocaust education, led to the seminar being endowed in his name."
The JFR provides monthly financial assistance to more than 130 aged and needy Righteous Gentiles living in 13 countries. Since its founding, JFR has provided more than $42 million to aged and needy rescuers, "helping to repay a debt of gratitude on behalf of the Jewish people to those noble men and women," according to a release.
The JFR Holocaust teacher education program has become a standard for teaching the history of the Holocaust and educating teachers and students about the significance of the Righteous as moral and ethical exemplars. Visit for more information.

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