The International School for Holocaust Studies
In the shadow of shoah
Jewish Community from Arad, RomaniaAdelina Stoenescu, Romania, 2008-2010
Adelina Stoenescu is an educator at Museum Arad and a PhD candidate at Oradea University studying Romanian Legislation and Ethnic Identity in Arad (1919-1945). After completing a seminar for teachers at Yad Vashem in 2005 and a graduate seminar in 2007, she gained expertise and further inspiration to continue her important work in Holocaust education. As a Yad Vashem teacher-training seminar graduate, she was eligible to apply for and received ICHEIC funding for her educational project “In the Shadow of the Shoah”, dedicated to the Jewish Community from Arad, Romania. The project involved working with educators and high schools students in Arad to research Jewish life in Arad in the 20th century.
During the course of their research, with the assistance of Mr. Ionel Schlesinger, President of the Jewish Community from Arad, students engaged in a rich learning experience when they met with adults and children of the community, celebrated Jewish holidays together, recorded interviews and collected photos. Members of the community shared their life stories and participated in seminars, workshops and exhibitions on Jewish life before and during the Shoah. Students also worked with historians from Arad Museum to gather pictures, documents and artifacts on the Jewish community and some famous Jewish families and individuals. Further study was carried out on-line to examine Yad Vashem archive pages of testimonies.
In addition to learning of the Jewish community’s establishment in the 18th century, its achievements and milestones, the group learned of the community’s suffering, persecution and deportations during the war. Once numbered at 9,048 Jews in Arad County, before the war, today there are 157 Jews in Arad with few physical remnants of the community that once was.
With Yad Vashem’s support, the team published useful pedagogical tools for teachers including a short history of the Jewish Community from Arad and postcards concerning Jewish personalities and monuments. They also organized seminars for teachers and workshops for students at the Museum Arad and local high schools. A distinct part of the project was the exhibition of the students’ work, “Arad Jewish Community – 300 Years”, displayed at the Museum Arad and schools from Arad County. The project was reported in Romanian media and is posted online at www.museumarad.ro, www.muzee.org, and www.divers.ro.
Adelina’s project is featured on the Yad Vashem Romanian language website at. In addition to the feature on Adelina’s project, the recently revamped site includes Romanian educational materials and other valuable didactic materials for Romanian educators.