The Jewish Student Union is an affinity group in King’s Middle School designated as a safe space for students who identify as Jewish to discuss matters related to pride in their ethnoreligious identity. The students met on Friday, January 28, just one day after International Holocaust Remembrance Day, to discuss its impact on the world at large.
The discussion was led by the group's advisors, history teacher Kenneth Lewis and Associate Head of Middle School Ben Magidson, both of whom also identify as Jewish.
“This is the day the international community recognizes what happened in the Holocaust. Outside of history class with Mr. Lewis, it’s important to discuss the Holocaust every year,” said Magidson. “It can’t just be one educational moment, it has to be something you discuss because it means something to you. This can never be allowed to happen again,” he added.
Each student in the class shared stories about how their ancestors and relatives were impacted by the events of the Holocaust. “My grandma is writing a book about her experience. She hid in Belarus and stayed with a Catholic family,” shared Benjamin Hugon ’26.
“It is important to recognize days such as International Holocaust Remembrance Day because it allows us to acknowledge the atrocities that took place and discuss the impact it still has on families today, including families of the King community,” said Dr.Clyde Beverly, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at King School.
After discussion, the advisors played a video of United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken, speaking about the importance of commemorating the annual day of remembrance.
“On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we honor those innocent lives lost. We honor, too, Holocaust survivors; those who saw true evil, and whose lives were unalterably shaped by it,” said Blinken.
This year, the annual day of remembrance comes amidst a rise in antisemitic incidents in the United States and other parts of the world. The Jewish Student Union also recently convened to discuss and issue a statement on an antisemitic incident that occurred in a Texas synagogue on January 17, 2022.
“As members of the King Middle School Jewish Student Union, we firmly and wholeheartedly stand up against any form of antisemitism in the world,” the statement said. “Actions of hate and ignorance cannot define the character and identity of this country, and it is vital to spread the message of empathy and understanding to everyone in our world.”
In an update to middle school families, Head of Middle School Dr. Josh Deitch stated, “We are proud of our students for coming forward, celebrating their identities, and adding their voices to those who denounce acts of hatred and violence of all kinds.”