FAU's CHHRE to Recognize Outstanding Holocaust Educators

By brittany sylvestri | 2/21/2018

Florida Atlantic University’s Center for Holocaust and Human Rights Education (CHHRE) recently hosted the annual Educator Appreciation Dinner, sponsored by Polen Capital. Teachers, families, Holocaust survivors, students and members of the community gathered to celebrate each other and recognize the exceptional work of the recipients of the Gutterman Family Outstanding Holocaust Educator of the Year Award.

The award recognizes elementary and secondary teachers who have demonstrated a positive impact on their schools and the wider community within the field of Holocaust, genocide and human rights education. It honors individuals who actively, by their example and through teaching about these difficult subjects, strengthen South Florida students’ world-citizenship and capacity to uphold the dignity of all persons. The highly competitive award, funded by Arthur Gutterman, enables winning teachers to participate in an all-expense paid educator field study to Poland and Israel.

The CHHRE, an integral unit of FAU’s Peace Justice and Human Rights Initiative, relies on private donations to provide professional development programs for teachers, as well as classroom resources for teachers and students to support Florida’s mandate for required instruction of the Holocaust as well as community programs and exhibits.

“It is important to recognize K-12 teachers who go above and beyond the requirements of the Holocaust education mandate,” said Linda Medvin, director of the CHHRE. “Each year, we celebrate the accomplishments of these outstanding individuals who are truly making a difference in the lives of their students, in their schools and in the world.”

The awardee from Broward County Public Schools is:

Helen Nathenson teaches 12th grade language arts at Cypress Bay High School in Weston. She holds degrees in history and English, and a master’s in international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh. Nathenson’s desire to educate young people grew out of her love of literature and history. She looks forward to her daily interactions in the classroom with her students. She is deeply passionate about integrating the lessons she has learned from the Holocaust into meaningful academic and life lessons for her students.

The awardees from the School District of Palm Beach County are:

Krystal Lamb is a social science teacher at Park Vista Community High School in Lake Worth and is dedicated to educating youth and the community about the Holocaust through the use of visual projects, research, and volunteering. Students are able to connect to the victims of the Holocaust and to pledge to stop genocide from occurring again in their lifetime. Lamb’s passion is educating for change and is apparent in her dedication to inspire students to take action against injustices.  She serves as advisor to the Park Vista Student Government Association and the Cobra Link Crew and coaches soccer and softball furthering her impact on students. 

Bogdan Paraschivoiu has been a middle school teacher for five years in Europe and the United States and currently teaches eighth grade language arts at Omni Middle School in Boca Raton. Paraschivoiu earned degrees in French and English language and literature and a second degree in cultural studies, with a major in Jewish Studies from University of Babes Bolyai. He has a master’s degree in intercultural and interreligious communication from the UNESCO chair within the University of Bucharest. He graduated from the Romanian Diplomatic Institute within the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2012.  In 2017, he was named as an Alfred Lerner Fellow with the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous.

Bradd L. Weinberg, Esq. has been teaching sixth grade international baccalaureate world history and seventh grade law studies at Carver Community Middle School in Delray Beach for the past four years. He decided to pursue a career as an educator after successfully practicing criminal defense law for 20 years. He obtained his certification in elementary education, social science for middle school and high school, as well as gifted endorsement. His course of studies includes an in-depth unit on the Holocaust and an examination of the corruption and aftermath of the pre- and post-Holocaust German Legal System. Weinberg also teaches Holocaust and film studies at Temple Shaarei Shalom Religious School in Boynton Beach.