The Charlotte Jewish news. (Charlotte, N.C.) 19??-current, June 01, 2014, Image 6
The Charlotte Jewish News - June-July 2014 - Page 6 Near Sell-Out Crowd Attends “From Swastika to Jim Crow” Movie Fundraiser to Support Shalom Park Freedom School By Amy Lefkof Joint destinies: Jewish refugee scholars and Black Southern college students, Shalom Park Jews and Freedom School scholars Transforming each others’ lives. Passing through the waters to a better life. Passing through the waters to a free future. These words are from “Blaeks and Jews Walking Together - Then and Now,” a poem written by Rabbi Judy Sehindler as she watehed the PBS doeumentary From Swastika to Jim Crow at the May 1 Shalom Park Freedom Sehool (SPFS) movie fundraiser that drew nearly 250 Shalom Park and greater Charlotte eommunity supporters to Sam Lemer Hall. One supporter, Temple Beth El eongregant David Cohen, ob served, “Part of the dream [in ere- ating Shalom Park Freedom Sehool] was that through helping others in our Charlotte eommu nity, our Shalom Park eommunity would be touehed and trans formed even if only in a small way. Tonight I saw that has hap pened. Shalom Park Freedom Sehool is not just a reality, but a truly superb reality.” At the beginning of the evening, SPFS Co-Chair Lisa Garfinkle announeed to applause the deeision of the SPFS Steering Committee to expand the six- week literaey-based summer program for eeonomieally disad vantaged ehildren to support 80 students in 2015, up from the 50 students that have been served sinee summer 2011. Of the stu dents, ealled seholars, attending SPFS sinee 2011, 90% have suf fered no summer reading loss, whieh is the goal of the program, with 65% gaining one or more levels of reading eomprehension after just one summer. From Swastika to Jim Crow tells the eompelling but little known story of Jewish refugee seholars who were expelled from their teaehing posts in Nazi Ger many and found refuge and em ployment at historieally blaek eolleges and universities in the South. Having eseaped perseeu- tion in Nazi Germany, only to en- eounter the raeial perseeution of the segregated South, these Jewish professors earefully navigated this surreal environment and posi tively impaeted the lives of their blaek students by mentoring them, eneouraging them to apply for Fulbright seholarships and Ph.D programs, and inspiring them to dream big dreams. Following the doeumentary, Jaekie Fishman, the ehild of a Holoeaust survivor and the mother of a son who attended Morehouse College, moderated a panel diseussion that drew a pow erful parallel between the histori- eal relationship between Ameriean Jews and Afriean- Amerieans, and the elose assoeia- tion that exists today between the Shalom Park eommunity and the eeonomieally disadvantaged seholars who attend Shalom Park Freedom Sehool. Rabbi Sehindler, the first pan elist, spoke to the historie linking of arms between Jews and Afriean-Amerieans to register blaek voters during the Freedom Summer of 1964, and the infamous murder of blaek CORE aetivist James Chaney, and Jewish aetivists Miehael Sehw- emer and Andrew Goodman. She opined how this working together has eontinued up People from all parts of the Shalom Park community at- today with the tended the SPFS May 1 fundraiser. Photo courtesy of linking of arms at Ralph Besnoy. Shalom Park Free dom Sehool. Prineipal Beth Wardy of Sterling Elementary, a sehool that sends students to SPFS, explained how 90% of her students live in poverty, with a eurrent eount of 60 homeless stu dents. To spend six weeks at Shalom Park with enriehing summer aetivities that in- elude ehess, opera, swim lessons, yoga, and sign lan guage, is to have new doors opened, sinee most of their lives eenter around only two plaees: their apartment and their sehool. The final panelist, Kevin Vandiver, SPFS’s first site- direetor and a graduate of the Duke Divinity Sehool, plained that Freedom Summer of 1964 also established a network of voluntary summer sehools — “Freedom Sehools”- as an alter native to Mississippi’s totally seg regated and underfunded sehools for blaeks, and that the eurrent Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Sehools follow this model. Van diver urged his mostly Jewish au- dienee to remember the lesson of Queen Esther who was plaeed in her position as Queen to help save her people. Vandiver suggested that his Shalom Park audienee was in a unique position to help support SPFS, and should do so as a matter of justiee, not eharity; not a hand out, but a hand up. The SPFS program eosts (Left to right): Temple Israel congregant Alan Goldberg who photographs SPFS scholars every summer, SPFS s first site di rector Kevin Vandiver, and Mary Nell McPherson, Executive Director of Freedom School. Photo courtesy of Ralph Besnoy. ex- $1,200 per seholar. Although $60,000 has already been raised to host 50 seholars for 2014, foeus is now on raising funds to serve 80 seholars in Summer 2015. Event Chair Cheryl Alley said prelimi nary figures show donations and multi-year pledges at $16,000 from the May 1 Event. To donate online, please go to www.spfree- domsehool.org and indieate Shalom Park Freedom Sehool when making your donation.^ FREEDOM SCHOOL FARTHERS Sltalorn Park Froedom School A SURPRISING CONNECTION. A REMARKABLE LEGACY. Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow teWs the compelling but little known story of Jewish professors who fled Nazi Germany during WWII, came to America and found teaching positions at historically black colleges and universities in the South. There they came face to face with the absurdities of a rigidly segregated Jim Crow society. Discoverthe connections and encounters between these refugee scholars and their students, and their great impact on each other, the Civil Rights Movement, and American society. Presented thanks to support from the William and Patricia Gorelick Family Foundation, Shelton and Carol Gorelick, Scott and Dana Gorelick, Jeff and Bari Gorelick, Howard and Julie Levine, and Lori and Eric Sklut. Levine Museum BEYOND SWASTIKA AND JIM CROW of the New South JEWISH REFUGEE SCHOLARS no Levine Museum www.museumofthenewsouth.org Open daily • 200 E. 7th St., uptown Charlotte 1 SCIENCE COUNCIL ON EXHIBIT MAY 7 - SEPT. 14, 2014 Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Schoiars atBiack Coiiegeswas created and is circulated by the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, New York City. The exhibit is made possible through major funding from the Leon Levy Foundation. Additional support provided by the Helen Bader Foundation; The Lupin Foundation, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation; public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency; the Alpern Family Foundation; and the Charles and Mildred Schnurmacher Foundation.