"Names, Not Numbers" is a Holocaust education program developed by Tova Fish-Rosenberg and coordinated at WDS by Mrs. Amy Ament. Every year, rather than simply learning about the Holocaust in a traditional classroom setting, the "Names, Not Numbers" curriculum allows 8th graders to engage in a unique multidisciplinary learning experience that combines research, video production, interviews, documentary film tools, and film editing. Throughout the project, students work with writers, educators, and filmmakers.
The program begins with the participating 8th graders meeting with Tova Fish-Rosenberg and Rabbi Knapp, and watching the Academy Award winning film "One Survivor Remembers," the oral history of Gerda Weissman. The students meet with a journalist to learn interviewing techniques. The students view the Holocaust exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage and participate in an educational program with a museum staff member. To further prepare for interviews, the students have sessions on the history of the Holocaust with WDS social studies teacher, Ms. Tina Roode, and learn professional video and editing techniques from a videographer. After many weeks of further research and preparation, the students conduct two hour interviews with their subjects about their experiences, which the students then edit down to 15 minutes and combine into a documentary. Rabbi Daniel Schwechter leads discussions on Emunah and Theodicy with the students after their interviews. The final "Names, Not Numbers" film is then further edited and presented at a special evening program at the day school, attended by the students, classmates, teachers, families, and the interview subjects.