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Names, Not Numbers Documentary Premiere at RHS

On May 1, 2024m at 7pm, Roslyn High School hosted the premiere screening of Names, Not Numbers®: A Movie in the Making for an audience of parents, students, community members, Roslyn School District administrators, faculty, and staff, and the five Holocaust survivors who participated in the film, along with their families. The project was chosen to engage students in a transformative journey of learning and empathy while supporting the New York State Social Studies Standards. 

Names, Not Numbers,” a Holocaust Oral History Film Documentary program, transforms the traditional study of the events of the Holocaust into an experiential project involving the actual eyewitnesses to those events – the survivors and World War II veterans. Students learn first-hand about the Holocaust by making their own professional documentary. They conduct oral history interviews, edit the personal testimonies, and form intergenerational connections to become the "witnesses to the witnesses."  

The thirty students who participated in the program were formed into five teams, with each team documenting one survivor’s story. Through a series of instructional workshops and mentorship from journalists, filmmakers, Holocaust scholars, and teachers, students acquired valuable historical knowledge and developed crucial life skills, including communication, empathy, and critical thinking. They learned to ask meaningful questions, listen actively, and gain a deeper appreciation for the resilience of the human spirit. 

Mr. Martin Bloch Rachel Eshaghian Sam Greenfield Chloe Kane Elaina Li Liat Somekh Lily Weinstein
Sam Greenfield, Liat Somekh, Lily Weinstein, Martin Bloch, Chloe Kane, Elaina Li, Rachel Eshaghian 

“At Roslyn, we are committed to moving education beyond the classroom walls, offering engaging experiences for our students as they gain a wider recognition not only of their current world, but also of the past that has shaped that world,” said Michael Goldspiel, Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education. “This initiative is more than just another assignment; it's an avenue for our students to engage in experiential learning in a way that is profound and lasting.”

The project was facilitated by RHS Assistant Principal Carol Murphy, Library Media Specialist Christine Parente, and Social Studies Chairperson Kristy Faulkner.

Names, Not Numbers was conceived by Mrs. Tova Fish-Rosenberg to be a living archive of human stories that provide a richer understanding of history and the profound impact it has on individuals and communities. Over 8,000 students in several countries (grade 8-college) have successfully interviewed, filmed, and edited the testimonies of over 5,000 survivors and World War II veterans. The more than 650 documentary films produced by the project have been viewed by over 150,000 people and are archived in major museums and academic institutions. More information can be found on