In the Fall of 2019, in keeping with the Festival’s educational mission, we expanded our cultural outreach to include daytime screenings of an age-and theme-appropriate film for local public high school students including transportation as an enhancement of their 10th-grade English curriculum on the Holocaust. This program has been so successful that we get requests from home schooling parents to be included, which we gladly welcome.
Six hundred students from Ashley, Laney, New Hanover, Hoggard, and Wilmington Early College High Schools attended one of the two screenings held at Thalian Hall of the film Fanny’s Journey. This year, the Wilmington Jewish Film Festival expanded the opportunity for high school students by offering screenings in both the spring and the fall to be able to include the greatest number of students. The film shown is based up the true story of Holocaust survivor Fanny Ben- Ami who led a group of children when she herself was only twelve years old from France to the Swiss border.
Henry Westreich, a lecturer at Cape Fear Community College whose parents were both Holocaust survivors, shared his story at one of the screenings. Glenn Tetterton, retired German and World History teacher from Ashley and New Hanover, led a discussion at another screening.
The festival committee provided teachers with resource materials. For many students, moreover, viewing a film at historic Thalian Hall was a new experience.