Hello from Seattle

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    • #31661

      I’m very grateful to join this group, and look forward to meeting everyone and learning together next month.

      I am the Director of Education for the Holocaust Center for Humanity in Seattle, Washington. Before joining the Center in 2019, I was a lawyer in the midwest for 15 years before changing careers to follow my heart by becoming a teacher. Thanks to an accelerated certification program created by Northwestern University, I obtained my teaching certificate and taught in Chicago for six years, Buffalo, NY for two years, and then in both eastern and western Washington. In my role, I work with educators statewide through the creation and adaptation of “best practices” lessons and curricula, providing professional development, overseeing our speakers bureau and other programs and resources, and I co-lead Holocaust study trips to Poland. I have also written, or co-written two Holocaust-related texts, The Yellow Star House: The Remarkable Story of One Boy’s Survival in a Protected House in Hungary, and a graphic novel, More Than Any Child Should Know: A Kindertransport Story of the Holocaust.

      Although the work I do is extremely challenging for many reasons, it is the most rewarding – and necessary work of my life. It was my inner city Chicago students’ passion and engagement with lessons about the Holocaust that compelled me to learn more so that I could do the best job I could for them. I thank them to this day, because they helped define my “why” for my life, let alone teaching. This led me to become a USHMM Teacher Fellow, Alfred Lerner Teacher Fellow, acceptance to this amazing program, and much more. I feel great when someone asks what I do, and I get to explain to them I try to fight hatred and prejudice every day!

      My wife, Marla, and I have two children. Adrien, 21, will be a senior at Montana State University, where he studies Geography and is an avid rock, ice and mountain climber. Gabe, 18, will be a freshman in the Davidson Honors College at the rival University of Montana, where he will study Wildlife Biology. We also have a “daughter,” our wonderful, zany Australian Shepherd, Sierra.

      When I’m not working I love to read, listen to music – I have been writing reviews and articles for a NYC-based music publication for 30 years, I hike and walk with our dog, and love spending time with my family. I’m also a devout sports fan, supporting teams from my hometown, Detroit, and Seattle.

      I really look forward to meeting all of you!

    • #31685

      Hello Paul,
      It sounds like you have been quite happy with the move from law to education. It is so wonderful that your students’ passion prompted you to pursue the study and teaching of the Holocaust. Your words about finding a way to fight hatred and prejudice every day resonate with me. I look forward to meeting you in June.

    • #31709

      Hello, Paul!
      I am looking forward to meeting you! And I am very interested in reading your two books. Our teachers often use books and literature as a core of their Holocaust units.
      I am originally from the Chicago area, and used to ride my bike along the lake through and around Northwestern’s campus; maybe we can talk pizza!
      See you soon in June!

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